Florida Panthers at New York Islanders - Game 55 Preview

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 08: Matt Bradley #22 of the Florida Panthers hits Andrew MacDonald #47 of the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Panthers defeated the Islanders 2-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Florida: 26-17-11 (63PTS)
New York Islanders: 23-23-8 (54PTS)
Season Series: 2-0-0
Game Time: 3:00 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, MSG Plus
Radio: 640 WFTL

The Panthers make their second afternoon start of the weekend on Long Island today. The Cats' win yesterday gave them a two point lead over the Capitals in the Southeast Division. Both teams have 28 games remaining. The Panthers' point total is also good enough for a playoff berth on its own again, though they would be the eighth seed if not leading the division. The team has the chance to increase that lead today against the Islanders, who are in a three-way tie for twelfth place with Tampa Bay and Buffalo. Washington plays the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden at 12:30. The Rangers are 1-1 against the Capitals this season. Both games were in DC. The Panthers need to show some killer instinct and win today's game, even if it is the second of back to backs. There may be as many as three players in the game who didn't play yesterday, which may help the Cats some. One of those three is starting goaltender Jose Theodore, who has missed a ton of games in 2012, but who appears ready to return.

More from our New York Islanders cohorts at Lighthouse Hockey.
Panthers vs Islanders coverage at SB Nation.
SB Nation Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Panthers won 4-2 at home on Tim Kennedy's game winner. Jacob Markstrom had the win.

Last game

The Panthers won the game and the season series with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils in an afternoon game in Newark.

Lineup

Jason Garrison left the game early last night. It appeared that his foot was hit by a puck. He was replaced in-game by Mikael Samuelsson, but Colby Robak was recalled late last night and will play in his first NHL game the night after scoring the overtime game winner for the Rampage in Rochester. There has been some speculation that Jack Skille will return today, possibly in for Matt Bradley, but we probably won't know for sure until game time.

Injuries

  • F Scottie Upshall (core), 2/1, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F Jack Skille (shoulder), 12/16, day-to-day
  • F Marco Sturm (lower body), 2/2 unknown
  • G Jacob Markstrom (knee), 1/7, 4 to 6 weeks
  • D Ed Jovanovski (hand), 1/16, week-to-week
  • D Dmitry Kulikov (knee), 1/21, 6 to 8 weeks
  • D Jason Garrison (lower body), 2/11, unknown

Possible Scratches

  • F Matt Bradley

Starting goaltenders:

Theodore will get the start against the Isles' Evgeni Nabokov.

Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Bergenheim-Goc-Samuelsson
  3. Kopecky-Matthias-Santorelli
  4. Barch-Madden-Bradley/Skille
Defense
  1. Campbell-Gudbranson
  2. Robak/Strachan-Weaver
  3. Strachan/Robak-Ellerby
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