Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders: Pre-Game Report

Mar 1, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie

Evgeni Nabokov

(20) allows a goal by New Jersey Devils center

Adam Henrique

(not pictured) during the first period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Eyes On Isles Pre-Game Report

In a Sunday matinee game, the New York Islanders (23-31-8) take on the Florida Panthers (22-31-7) in game number 63. With puck drop coming early today, here’s the information you’ll need before the 3PM puck drop.

Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

When: Saturday, March 2nd, 2014

TV: MSG+ (Howie Rose, Butch Goring)

Radio: 88.7 FM WRHU, 103.9 FM WRCN (Chris King)

Opposition Blog: The Rat Trick

Tickets: New York Islanders Tickets

After gaining some confidence in a strong comeback win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Islanders displayed minimal effort in their 6-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Evegeni Nabokov allowed 5 goals on 19 shots, posting a .737 SV%. After reliving Nabokov of his duties after two periods, Anders Nilsson stepped in, stopping 15 of 16 shots, finishing the game with a .938 SV%.

After playing in his first two NHL games, Mike Halmo will be returned to Bridgeport as Frans Nielsen is activated off the IR today. Although there were no points added to his scoresheet, Halmo showed great promise in two appearances. Although the team is still without their captain John Tavares, having another veteran back in Nielsen is much needed for this struggling team.

In today’s afternoon game, the Isles look to bounce back after yesterday’s loss. While the team is still not technically eliminated from the playoffs, they’ll have to almost win out the remaining games on their schedule. The Panthers sit in an almost identical situation, and while also not yet out of it, things are looking slim to be one of the sixteen teams on a quest for the Cup.

With the deadline fast approaching and just two games between now and March 5th, this could very well be the last game we see Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald in blue and orange. With the Isles second West coast trip coming up, it will be interesting to see if the two are with the team in Winnipeg. Of course, this is all speculation, but also obvious news we all know will be coming regardless.

What They’re Saying

The game went away from us pretty quickly. We deflated after they scored two power-play goals. This is part of the business. You got knocked down, but you have to get up again and you have to do the job. When the penalty kill is good, the goalie makes the saves. Today that wasn’t the case.

-Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov on Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Devils.

It’s just a little different because my name has been swarming around a little bit. We have a couple of more days to go and we will see what the future will bring for me.

-New Jersey Devils’ Martin Brodeur on the possibility of playing his final games for the only club he’s played for.

Is it that many? I love this team. It’s my favorite team. That’s a lot of goals. It’s almost 10 percent.

Jaromir Jagr on the amount of goals he’s scored against the Islanders

Quick Hitters

Travis Hamonic will be on the sidelines today as he serves a one game suspension for his instigator penalty against the Devils’ Ryan Carter.

In the first game of three against the Panthers, the Isles lost 4-2 in Sunrise earlier this season.

The Isles last win again the Panthers came almost one year ago, when the Isles won 5-2 on April 16th, 2013.

With his goal last night, Kyle Okposo passed John Tavares for team leading 25 goals. He’s now just 6 points behind the injured Tavares to top both categories.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 700th career goal on Saturday. He is the second player to score his 700th goal on Evgeni Nabokov, the first coming on February 11th, 2013 when Brett Hull hit his milestone.

Projected Lineup


26 Thomas Vanek – 29 Brock Nelson – 21 Kyle Okposo

40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey

27 Anders Lee – 18 Ryan Strome – 15 Cal Clutterbuck

36 Eric Boulton – 53 Casey Cizikas – 13 Colin McDonald


44 Calvin de Haan – 47 Andrew MacDonald

14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

37 Brian Strait – 7 Matt Carkner


45 Anders Nilsson

20 Evgeni Nabokov


3 Travis Hamonic

91 John Tavares