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Florida
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38-35-9
New York
Islanders
35-38-9

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Panthers-Islanders Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers-Islanders Preview
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders

The New York Islanders have spent much of the first half of the season struggling to score. That hasn't been a problem lately - and neither has winning.

The Islanders look for their sixth win in seven games when they host the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders (20-16-2) went 22 consecutive games from Nov. 3-Dec. 19 without scoring more than three goals. But in winning five of their last six, they've scored at least four goals four times and are 8-0-0 this season when scoring that many.

No NHL team has scored fewer goals than the Islanders' 94, but they're coming off a 4-1 win over Carolina on Monday. The Isles scored all of their goals in an 11-minute stretch in the second period, three coming on the power play.

"We haven't done it in a little while, so it's about time our power play got going," said backup goaltender Wade Dubielewicz. "We jumped on them pretty quick, and when they took some penalties in the second period, we didn't look back."

It had been 28 games since the Islanders had scored multiple power-play goals in a game. In that stretch, they had converted only 10.6 percent of their chances (12-of-113) with the opposition short-handed.

Bill Guerin scored one of the Islanders' power-play goals, his fifth tally in as many games. Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron scored the other two - he has four of his six goals in the past four games, all with the man advantage.

Dubielewicz has started the last three games in relief of Rick DiPietro, who sprained his left knee on Dec. 26 against Toronto. Dubielewicz is 3-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average since entering in the first period against the Maple Leafs.

But DiPietro, who is 16-13-2 with a 2.47 GAA, is expected to return against the Panthers. He's 6-4-0 with a 2.78 GAA against Florida in his career, including a 3-0 road loss on Dec. 7 in the teams' only meeting this season.

The Panthers' shutout win against the Islanders started a 6-1-2 stretch. But Florida (18-19-3) has lost three straight since, scoring only three goals.

Their latest defeat was a 3-2 road loss to New Jersey on Wednesday, and left coach and general manager Jacques Martin with mixed emotions concerning his team's effort.

"Some of the guys worked hard and some of the guys didn't work hard," he said. "I thought we had an outstanding performance from Stephen Weiss, David Booth and Nathan Horton."

Horton assisted on both goals and is second on the team in points with 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points. He had a power-play goal in the win over the Isles last month, and has two goals and three assists in a four-game point streak at the Coliseum.

Tomas Vokoun has won three straight on the road, and is 7-1-0 with a 2.10 GAA since Nov. 19. He's beaten the Isles five straight times, registering a 0.98 GAA and two shutouts.

The Panthers, though, have lost three straight on Long Island, two by shootout and one in overtime.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 12 '08 NYI 2 at FLA 4 K. Skrastins
Mar 02 '08 FLA 1 at NYI 0 D. Booth
Jan 03 '08 FLA 4 at NYI 3 - OT J. Cullimore
Dec 07 '07 NYI 0 at FLA 3 S. Weiss