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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.



  • 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)

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

Southeast Standings

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)

Florida Panthers Roster

# Pos.
Sean Bergenheim 20 LW
David Booth 10 LW
Matt Bradley 22 RW
Brian Campbell 51 D
Ryan Carter 24 C
Evgeni Dadonov 63 RW
Keaton Ellerby 4 D
Tomas Fleischmann 14 RW
Jason Garrison 52 D
Marcel Goc 57 C
Erik Gudbranson 44 D
Ed Jovanovski 55 D
Tomas Kopecky 82 RW
Dmitry Kulikov 7 D
Jacob Markstrom 25 G
Shawn Matthias 18 C
Jack Skille 12 RW
Jose Theodore 60 G
Scottie Upshall 19 RW
Kris Versteeg 32 RW
Mike Weaver 43 D
Stephen Weiss 9 C


New York Islanders Roster

# Pos.
Josh Bailey 12 LW
Matt Campanale 55 D
Blake Comeau 57 LW
Rick DiPietro 39 G
Jamie Doornbosch 29 D
Mark Eaton 4 D
Trevor Gillies 14 LW
Michael Grabner 40 RW
Micheal Haley 18 C
Travis Hamonic 3 D
Jesse Joensuu 58 RW
Milan Jurcina 27 D
Andrew MacDonald 47 D
Matt Martin 17 LW
Al Montoya 35 G
Mike Mottau 10 D
Matt Moulson 26 LW
Frans Nielsen 51 C
Kyle Okposo 21 RW
P.A. Parenteau 15 LW
Kevin Poulin 60 G
Marty Reasoner 16 C
Brian Rolston 11 LW
Shane Sims 55 D
Steve Staios 0 D
Mark Streit 2 D
Ryan Strome 0 C
John Tavares 91 C