Posted March 15, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New York Islanders
While nothing seems to be going right for the NHL-worst Florida Panthers, the New York Islanders are starting to turn things around.
The Panthers try to avoid losing six straight for the first time in two seasons Saturday night when they host the Islanders, who have had a rough time in this series.
Giving up a league-high 3.7 goals per game, Florida (7-15-6) has been outscored 22-8 during an 0-4-1 skid. The Panthers have fallen behind in each of those contests, dropping to 1-13-4 when their opponent scores first.
"We've got to find a way to get some puck luck and get that first goal," coach Kevin Dineen told the team's official website. "Just keep searching for the answers and obviously there's a lot of try right now. I think these guys are pushing as hard as they can and that's the answer to our problems right now."
Florida's woes continued Thursday in a 4-1 loss at Boston. The Panthers trailed 1-0 less than four minutes in and 2-0 after 20 minutes before Shawn Matthias provided all the offense with a short-handed goal.
"We didn't play that well," said Julien, whose team has gone 0 for 16 on the power play in eight games this month. "Some nights we seem to be in sync, and lately we've been a little off our game. So certainly not the way we want to play or certainly not our best game, let's put it that way."
The Panthers, who haven't lost six straight since an 0-7-3 skid March 19-April 8, 2011, will try to bounce back in their first matchup against the Islanders (12-12-3). Florida has gone 15-3-3 against New York since March 2007, including a 9-0-2 run at home.
After going 4-9-1 last month, the Islanders improved to 4-1-1 in March with Thursday's 2-0 win at Tampa Bay. Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves for his second shutout and John Tavares tallied his team-leading 17th goal.
"We found a way," Brad Boyes, who scored an empty-netter and added an assist, told the team's official website. "That's what we're learning how to do this season."
The Islanders improved to 10-2-1 when scoring at least one power-play goal and have won six straight when converting on the man advantage.
"We had good movement," Boyes said. "That's what our strength is on the power play - our movement. Guys moving around, moving the puck and shooting the puck."
Both of Nabokov's shutouts have come on the road, where he's gone 7-2-1. He has, however, allowed at least three goals in seven of those other eight games. Nabokov went 1-2-0 with a 3.30 goals-against average in three starts against the Panthers last season.
Florida's Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen continue to fill in for the injured Jose Theodore. Clemmensen stopped 28 of 31 shots Thursday, dropping to 2-4-2 with a league-high 4.15 GAA. Markstrom is 1-5-1 with a 3.29 mark.
The Panthers, who recently lost Stephen Weiss to a season-ending wrist injury, will also be without Kris Versteeg for the rest of the year. The left winger suffered a knee injury during Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
Florida, though, could get a boost from captain Ed Jovanovski, who's hoping to return Saturday following a 22-game absence due to a knee injury. The veteran defenseman has one assist in five games.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
UP AND AT 'EM
Those who work hard often get rewarded, and that is exactly what happened during the Boston Bruins-Florida Panthers game on Thursday night. Early in the second period the Panthers were killing off a penalty and Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton missed a bad pass and the puck squirted out to center ice. Panthers forward Shawn Matthias out-hustled Hamilton and dove for the loose...
What a difference a day makes.
TJ Brennan went from persona non grata in Buffalo to the game's second star in his Florida Panthers debut.
Did Brennan get good overnight?
Not quite. he's always been this good,
Brennan, who played for Dineen for two seasons with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, ended up with 23:42 of ice time â second on...
Tough blow to #Panthers. Kris Versteeg is done for the year. ACL Will have surgery soon. Suffered when he went knee on knee with Radko Gudas
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) March 14, 2013
Mike Ribiero? Interesting to say the least.
It’s long been rumored that the Rangers were talking to the Florida Panthers regarding Stephen Weiss, and Katie Strang confirmed that yesterday. Weiss is now out for the season, having undergone wrist surgery. While that path has closed, it appears that E.J. Hradek has mentioned that the Rangers are in on the Caps’ Mike Ribiero. There...
Talk about hustle and determination...
Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings)
Friday night was about players stepping up for their teams as the prospects of the New York Ranger and New York Islanders make pushes to help their teams with their playoff hopes. No position had a bigger impact than the defense corps and it should not be a surprise that more defensemen are also captains on their team.
First Star Griffin...
The overload of defensemen on the Buffalo Sabres roster has been given a little bit of relief. The team has traded T.J. Brennan to the Florida Panthers for a 5th round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The draft pick received originally belonged to New Jersey, but the Panthers acquired it in a trade with Los Angeles.
The move comes on the same day the team decided to send rookie Mikhail...
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Sabres have traded defenseman T.J. Brennan to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in this year's draft.
The move came after Buffalo already began shuffling its roster by returning rookie center Mikhail Grigorenko to his team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Brennan had one goal in 10 games this season. He also had...
Casey Cizikas broke a third-period tie, and the New York Islanders held on to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 after blowing a three-goal lead in the final frame Saturday night.
Cizikas took a pass from Colin McDonald from behind the net and got it past goalie Scott Clemmensen from the left of the crease at 12:55.
Kyle Okposo, Radek Martinek and Brad Boyes also scored, and Evgeni...
If not for Casey Cizikas and the grinding line is on, this game would have been another Isles loss.
It was going so well. it was it was a three to zippo lead and the Panthers were given two minutes to score three goals. I don't even know how that happened. But it looked like a typical islander defensive breakdown.
Sadly Matt Moulson looked like he was skating with lead...
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The New York Islanders nearly paid for relaxing too early against the Florida Panthers.
Nursing a three-goal lead in the third period, the Islanders got quite a jolt when the Panthers rallied to tie it with three goals in less than two minutes.
But Casey Cizikas broke that tie, and the Islanders held on to beat the Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.
Game time: 7 p.m. ETTV: FOX Sports Florida
The Boston Bruins have clearly played like one of the Eastern Conference's top teams, which is perhaps why their last result was so disappointing.
A matchup at home Thursday night against the struggling Florida Panthers should provide Boston with a good opportunity to bounce back.
The Bruins (17-4-3) won three in a row and nine of 11...