By: David Kolb
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (5-7-2) @ FLORIDA PANTHERS (6-7-1)
OLD FOES MEET AGAIN
The Islanders and Panthers will meet tonight for the first time since last year’s playoffs, a thrilling six-game series that featured three overtime games. The last time they met at BB&T Center, Alan Quine scored in double-overtime to win Game 5 of the series.
NOT PLAYING FROM BEHIND
The Islanders never led in Thursday’s 4-1 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Getting a fast start, particularly in the Panthers’ rink on a Saturday night, is something the Islanders must make every effort to do, as the Panthers have a respectable 5-3-0 record at home.
PK KILLING ISLES
Only five NHL teams have committed more penalties than the Islanders entering the weekend. The Islanders must avoid taking penalties, or kill them better, as they are tied for 26th place in penalty killing with a 75.9 percentage.
LADD LIGHTING THE LAMP
Andrew Ladd went 12 games without scoring his first goal of the season, but has how tallied in back-to-back game. The ideal situation for Ladd would be to continue his improved play through tonight’s tilt and hope coach Jack Capuano moves him to John Tavares’ wing, as originally planned when the Isles inked Ladd this summer.
MEET MR. MARCHESSAULT
Florida center Jonathan Marchessault will have to be watched closely tonight, as he has been among the biggest surprises in the NHL season – scoring seven goals and six assists for six points through 14 games. Marchessault has been incredible on home-ice, collecting four goals and five assists in only eight games at BB&T Center.