FLORIDA PANTHERS (19-16-8) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (15-16-8)
The Islanders will finish off their season series with the Panthers tonight in Florida. The Panthers took the first two games of the season series, including the first half of this home-and-home set, winning 2-1 over the slumping Islanders Wednesday. The Islanders have now dropped three in a row, and four of their last five games, and need a win tonight to begin climbing back into the playoff race.
HAMONIC ON IR
Travis Hamonic (lower body injury) was placed on IR Thursday, retroactive to the Islanders-Coyotes game on Jan. 7. Hamonic did not play on Wednesday night vs. Florida and has not skated since sustaining the injury. Adam Pelech slid into the lineup for the injured Hamonic on Wednesday, skating 15:32 against the Panthers. Scott Mayfield was also recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of the Isles’ three-game road trip, making him an option for Coach Jack Capuano.
NEW HOME, SAME RESULTS
Puck-moving Panthers’ defenseman Keith Yandle tallied a first-period goal Wednesday against the Islanders, giving him two points in his past two games. The first year Panther has enjoyed a solid first season in South Florida, scoring three goals while adding 17 assists for 20 points. In two games against the Isles, Yandle has a goal and an assist and is a plus-2, with an average of 22:34 time on ice.
LEDDY LEADING THE D
Nick Leddy scored the Islanders’ lone goal on Wednesday, giving the swift-skating rearguard three points (two goals, one assist) in his past five tilts. Leddy leads all Islanders defensemen in points this season with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points and has lit the lamp in both games against Florida this season.
CHECK OUT TROCHECK
Skilled 23-year-old Panther forward Vincent Trocheck looks as if he is hitting his stride, gaining points in three of his past four games (one goal, three assists), while notching assists in both games against the Islanders this season. Trocheck is nearly on pace to match last season’s totals of 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists), as he has 12 goals and 13 assists in 43 games played.