Final SO

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Florida leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 14th
Game 2: Monday, December 14th
Game 3: Thursday, January 21st
Game 4: Sunday, January 31st

Panthers 1

(21-21-9, 51 pts)

Islanders 2

(23-20-8, 54 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 21, 2010

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 SO T
FLA 0 1 0 01
NYI 0 1 0 12

D. Roloson (Islanders - G): Saves: 33, Save Pct.: .971

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 35, Save Pct.: .972

B. Comeau (Islanders - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Panthers-Islanders Preview


The New York Islanders are enjoying their best stretch at Nassau Coliseum in nearly four years. They're also about to get tested during a three-game homestand, and the Florida Panthers may pose a problem in the opener.

The Islanders look to extend their home winning streak to six games Thursday night when they try to beat the Panthers for the first time this season.

New York (22-20-8) has won five consecutive games on Long Island for the first time since a six-game run from March 2-25, 2006.

The Islanders, 13-8-2 at home, moved closer to matching that Monday, outshooting Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey 46-20 in a 4-0 win. That success, though, was muted Tuesday with a 6-4 loss at Pittsburgh.

Trent Hunter and Richard Park scored in the third period to tie the score at 4, but the Isles couldn't overcome Sidney Crosby's career high-tying six points and a hat trick by Evgeni Malkin that helped halt New York's four-game winning streak.

"When you give those guys time and space to make plays, they're going to make them," said Dwayne Roloson, who had 23 saves.

Before looming matchups at home with the Devils and Eastern Conference-leading Washington, New York will try to avoid another poor performance against the Panthers (21-21-8).

The Islanders have dropped nine of 11 meetings with Florida, including two this season. After losing 5-4 on the road in a shootout Nov. 14, they fell 7-1 at home on Dec. 14 when Roloson was pulled after allowing two goals in the opening minute of the third period and five for the game.

Roloson is 0-1-1 with a 5.10 goals-against average versus the Panthers in 2009-10, meaning Rick DiPietro could start days after his first shutout since Feb. 21, 2008.

The top overall pick in 2000 is 2-1-0 with a 1.96 GAA since returning from a series of knee injuries that have limited him to eight games since the start of last season. DiPietro has a 2.77 GAA while losing four in a row to the Panthers, but hasn't faced them since Oct. 18, 2008.

John Tavares -- selected first overall in last year's draft -- has just two goals and two assists in his last 18 games. Still, he leads all rookies with 17 goals, including one against Florida in November.

The Panthers have been struggling to score this week. A 2-0 loss to New Jersey on Wednesday came two nights after a 1-0 home win over Atlanta.

"We're obviously not scoring enough," said Steven Reinprecht, who has 13 goals, but none in his last eight games. "We've been playing well in our own zone but we've got to score goals to win."

Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 shots against the Devils, and is 4-1-1 with a 1.49 GAA and two shutouts over his last six games. A member of the Czech Republic team that will compete at next month's Olympics, Vokoun is 11-4-0 with a 2.03 GAA and three shutouts in his career versus the Islanders.

Nathan Horton, who had a hat trick with an assist against New York last month, hasn't managed a point in three consecutive games. The right wing has 16 goals, and leads the Panthers with 45 points to match last season's total.

Horton has eight goals and six assists in nine games at Nassau Coliseum.

New York will be without Andy Sutton, who was suspended two games Wednesday for leaving Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis bloodied with a hit from behind. Sutton is third on the club in scoring by a defenseman with 11 points.