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Booth, Vokoun Back Tonight

Thursday, 02.5.2009 / 12:51 PM ET / Preview
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Booth, Vokoun Back Tonight
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

SUNRISE – When the Panthers take the ice tonight at BankAtlantic Center against the red-hot New York Islanders, leading scorer David Booth and goalie Tomas Vokoun will be back in uniform.

The Panthers, 8-2-3 since Jan. 3, have been without Booth the past two games due to the flu while Vokoun missed Tuesday’s game in Toronto also with the bug.

But after Booth and Vokoun participated in Thursday morning’s skate, coach Peter DeBoer announced the two were healthy and both would play this evening.

Booth, who skated for roughly an hour Wednesday when the team arrived back in South Florida from Toronto, said after Thursday’s morning skate; “Maybe my endurance is not where it was, but my speed felt fine.”

DeBoer said Vokoun will start in goal. He also said he’s happy that Booth is ready to return to the lineup.

“We’re a forechecking, puck pressure team and nobody closes on people faster than David Booth,” DeBoer said. “His speed out there is something we miss and he’s a welcome addition back.”

The Panthers enter tonight’s 7:30 p.m., game eighth in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind seventh-place Buffalo and five behind sixth-place Philadelphia.

While the Panthers shutout the Islanders here in October, they’ve dropped their last two games on Long Island, including a 3-1 loss Saturday.

“These two huge points are huge and they’re points you need,” Booth said.

“We played a real good game against them here early in the  year,” DeBoer said. “We can’t dwell on (Saturday).”

Defenseman Bryan McCabe, who scored the dramatic, game-winning goal in Toronto, said; “We just keep climbing (up the standings), keep building, and things are going well.”

DeBoer said he hopes the Panthers can build on the success and the good karma from Tuesday in Toronto.

“It was a great win on a lot of different fronts,” DeBoer said. “Obviously, getting the two points. Obviously, Bryan McCabe scoring. But you can just see when we do things like that our confidence grows.”

NOTES


The Islanders enter tonight’s game on a four-game winning streak and are undefeated in regulation in their last five games. Goalie Yann Danis has been a major reason for the Islanders recent run of success. Danis is 4-0-1 in his last five games with a .957 save percentage and 1.99 goals against…The Islanders did not skate Thursday morning. Their trip through South Florida and Saturday in Tampa is their annual Father/Son Road Trip. Stan Hunter, father of forward Trent, told NewYorkIslanders.com, “We just try not to get in any trouble or embarrass the kids.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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