Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 3/24/13
Game time: 5 p.m. TV: FOX Sports Florida The New York Islanders are the worst home team in the NHL, and their recent issues in the third period aren't doing them any favors. The Islanders will try address those concerns and conclude an unpleasant four-game homestand on a positive note Sunday against the league-worst Florida Panthers. New York (13-15-3) is three points behind the New York Rangers and Carolina, who are tied for the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. "It's crunch time every game," goaltender Evgeni Nabokov said. "We're still not far from the pack." The Islanders could be in much better shape, however, if not for a 5-11-2 record at Nassau Coliseum. Those struggles have continued with three straight regulation losses to begin this homestand, in which New York has been outscored 9-0 in the third period. The skid followed a 4-3 win at Florida (9-17-6) on March 16, when Casey Cizikas scored the go-ahead goal after the Panthers tied it by netting three in a row in a 1:43 span early in the third. New York has led or been tied in the third period in 25 of its 31 games, but has won only 13. The Isles entered the third tied Friday, but fell 4-2 to Pittsburgh. "The third period has been our Achilles heel," center John Tavares said. "We can't seem to hold onto a lead or break through in the third. "We can't afford not getting points. We have to push ourselves better. Our confidence isn't bad, but we are making mistakes at the wrong times." Tavares is among the NHL scoring leaders with 18 goals and 33 points, but he's a minus-10. He's often struggled against Florida, mustering merely one assist in six home meetings, with the Islanders losing four. Nabokov is expected to be back in net after stopping 21 of 24 shots against the Penguins. He was pulled from his only start against the Panthers on Long Island, surrendering four goals on 15 shots through two periods of a 4-1 defeat on Feb. 12, 2012. Nabokov had 27 saves at Florida last week. The Panthers are finishing a swing through the New York area as part of a season-high five-game road trip. They're 2-1-0 on the overall jaunt after falling 2-1 at New Jersey on Saturday, two days after beating the Rangers 3-1. "As of late, we're playing pretty good," said Scott Clemmensen, who made 23 saves against the Devils. "As a result, we're in every game and that gives us a chance to win. "It's tough to win on the road. We played a pretty good hockey game, but it was tough to lose." Clemmensen, who has lost five straight decisions, was in net against the Islanders last week, but he may return to the bench in favor of Jacob Markstrom, who has won his last two starts while allowing two goals on 79 shots. Tomas Kopecky is tied with rookie Jonathan Huberdeau for the team lead with 12 goals and 20 points. Kopecky has six points in his past eight games, getting an assist against New York last weekend. He has no points in three visits to Long Island.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Brian Cashman defends A-Rod despite season's struggles

Report: Charles’ workload won’t be limited if healthy

Report: Westbrook doesn’t want trade, will think about extension

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps


Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Top five storylines heading into MLB trade deadline

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Chris Sale’s so-called ‘apology’ was anything but

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker