Game Day Preview: Game 1, Florida Panthers at New York Islanders

Florida: 0-0-0 (0PTS)
New York Islanders: 0-0-0 (0PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0

The Panthers start the season on the road again this year, with games in Uniondale and Pittsburgh. The last time Florida played at Nassau Coliseum, they were on the losing end of a 5-1 game following a huge meltdown. Stephen Weiss was ejected from the game following the Islanders' second goal late in the first period when he took a five minute elbowing penalty. Radek Martinek scored with 3 seconds left on the penalty and the Cats never recovered. Down 4-1 with 3 minutes to go, former coach Pete DeBoer would pull one of his humiliating the players moves when he pulled Tomas Vokoun. Dale Tallon would start blowing up the team only a few days later when he traded Cory Stillman to the Hurricanes. Obviously, the Panthers would like a better start than to rehash last year's losing effort on the Island. The Islanders are also sporting a bit of a revamped roster, with a lot of good young players and a few veterans. In addition, the Isles have former Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov ready to step in should Rick DiPietro lose games to injury again this year. They're not going to challenge for their division lead this year, or probably the playoffs, but should the Devils and their new coach (some guy named Pete DeBoer, apparently) falter, the Isles should move up out of the Atlantic Division basement.

More from our New York Islanders cohorts at Lighthouse Hockey
Panthers vs Islanders coverage coverage at SB Nation.
 Litter Box Cats game thread will open 30 minutes before game time.

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Isles beat the Cats 4-3 in a shootout in Florida on March 19 in Rick DiPietro's first game back after being taken out by Brent "One-Punch" Johnson in a fight six weeks earlier. Scott Clemmensen had the loss for the Panthers. The Panthers went into the third period with a 2-1 lead, but the Islanders tied the game to force overtime. David Booth missed the net on a penalty shot in overtime to force the shootout.

Last Game

The Panthers lost their final pre-season game 7-1 in Dallas. Jose Theodore played the entire game, giving up 7 goals on 27 shots. Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves in the win.

Lineup

Injuries

  • G Scott Clemmensen (knee), 9/26, 3-8 weeks
  • F Mike Santorelli (shoulder), 9/27, 2 weeks

Healthy Scratches

  • D Keaton Ellerby
  • F Evgeny Dadonov

Starting goaltenders

No surprises here, unlike in Washington. Jose Theodore will be starting for the Panthers, while Rick DiPietro will start for the Islanders. Update: Scratch DiPietro, insert Al Montoya.

Lines (from practice)

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Booth-Kopecky-Upshall
  3. Bergenheim-Goc-Skille
  4. Bradley-Matthias-Carter
Defense
  1. Campbell-Kulikov
  2. Jovanovski-Gudbranson
  3. Garrison-Weaver

Southeast Standings

GP W L OTL PT
Tampa Bay 1 1 0 0 2
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Washington 0 0 0 0 0
Winnipeg 0 0 0 0 0
Carolina 1 0 1 0 0

(updated 10.8.2011 at 8:16 AM EDT)






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