The New York Islanders head to the eastern side of Florida to take on the Florida Panthers to close out their two-game road trip. Maybe this time they can capitalize on their 5-on-5 superiority.
This two game road trip was supposed to be a good thing for the New York Islanders. The players were finally going to have the chance to hit the road as a cohesive unit and nurture some partnerships in the team.
The players were looking forward to it. The coaching staff was looking forward to it. The fans were buying what the players were saying. This road trip would be a good thing.
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For one thing, the players were right. Barring a few road games to start the season, and that small trip to Pittsburgh, the team has played primarily at home. This was a chance to focus on hockey and hockey alone. No family. No friends (outside of the team). No distractions.
And then the team lost 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, in what can only be deemed as an undisciplined gong show.
Now they head to the Miami area to take on an equally struggling Panthers team. Winning two of their last three the Panthers find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic. A division they lead just a few months ago.
If the Isles can dominate the 5-on-5 game and maybe stay out of the penalty box, they should have a good chance at winning this game. But with the way this team is playing, I wouldn’t count on that.
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New York Islanders Lineup:
Prince-Strome-Beauvillier de Haan-Seidenberg
Ladd-Cizikas-Kulemin Halak (Greiss)
Beauvillier comes in for Quine. A move that should have been made last game, but that was then, this is now. Ladd sticks on the fourth line even though he’s got two goals now. I guess why mess with a good thing.
Beauvillier on being in the lineup: “Obviously just going try to do what I do best. Bring some energy to the team and play a simple game, bring some shots on net… I’m excited to be back in the lineup and hopefully have a good game.”
Florida Panthers Lineup:
MacKenzie-McKegg-Rau Luongo (Reimer)
Jonathan Huberdeau is out with injury, but in comes equally difficult to pronounce Jonathan Marchessault. Fun game idea; count the number of times Buth Goring gets it wrong. Marchessault might be the replacement, but he’s fit right in. Thirteen points this season, two in his last three games.
Where to Catch the Game:
Venue: 7 p.m., BB&T Center
Radio: 660AM, 101.9FM WFAN, 88.7FM WRHU