New York Islanders (18-22-7) @ Florida Panthers (17-21-7)
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.
BB&T Center | Sunrise, Florida
Looking for their season high fifth win in a row, the Islanders roll into Florida to take on the Panthers tonight. This is the first of three meetings this season between the the Isles and Panthers.
The Panthers enter tonight’s game 3-2-2 in their last seven contests and currently sit seventh in the Atlantic Division. However the Panthers have not had much luck against the Islanders. In their last four games against New York, the Islanders have defeated them each time.
To try and curb that the Panthers will start, kind of former Islander, Tim Thomas tonight in goal. Thomas was technically a member of the Islanders last season when GM Garth Snow acquired him from Boston in February. He did not play a single game the entire year.
The Islanders will have Kevin Poulin start in net for the fourth time in a row. The forward lines will remain the same for the Isles as they were on Sunday in Dallas, but they will be without the services of Travis Hamonic who is out day-to-day with an upper body injury. Matt Carkner will take Hamonic’s spot on defense.
Their is the chance for a little history to be made tonight. A fifth win in a row would be the first time the Islanders have done so since February of 2008. And an eighth consecutive win on the road would tie a franchise record of longest road winning streak set during the 1980-81 season.
Tonight’s Lineup (defense pairs from the morning skate, per Arthur Staple of Newsday):
Thomas Vanek – John Tavares – Kyle Okposo
Brock Nelson – Frans Nielsen – Josh Bailey
Michael Grabner – Ryan Strome – Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Colin McDonald
Andrew MacDonald – Brian Strait
Calvin de Haan – Thomas Hickey
Matt Donovan – Matt Carkner.