GAME: Florida Panthers (16-21-5) at New York Islanders (17-19-2).
TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.
The New York Islanders wil try to avoid extending their season-high
losing streak to six games when they meet the Florida Panthers.
The Islanders have not dropped six in a row since a seven-game skid
from Nov. 20-Dec. 4, 2003.
New York was three games over. 500 on Dec. 21. Since then, they have
been outscored 22-11 during the losing skid, which increased with a 2-
1 loss Monday to the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay
Backup goaltender Garth Snow, filling in for injured U.S. Olympic
selection Rick DiPietro, gave up a short-handed goal to the
Lightning's Martin St. Louis with 4:57 to play.
Snow tied a season-high by making 41 saves, but lost in his fifth
straight appearance, including three starts.
Since beating the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers on
Nov. 26, Snow is 0-5-0 with a 4.38 goals-against average.
``Every team goes through things like this,'' said Snow, who is mired
in his own five-game losing streak and has not won since Nov. 26,
2005. ``We know we can turn it around.''
If DiPietro, who is recovering from a mild knee sprain, is unable to
go again, Isles coach Steve Stirling may go with Wade Dubielewicz.
Prior to the game against Tampa Bay, Dubielewicz was recalled from
Bridgeport of the AHL where he was 8-13-1 with a 3.12 GAA and three
shutouts this season.
In two career NHL games, Dubielewicz is 1-0-1 - allowing only three
goals on 50 shots in 105 minutes.
Florida will try to bounce back after seeing its season-high three-
game winning streak end with a 3-0 loss Tuesday to the New Jersey
The Panthers managed a season-low 16 shots on goal as they were
blanked for the fourth time this season, tying them with the Atlanta
Thrashers for the most in the league.
``We made a lot of progress in the last two weeks,'' said Panthers'
winger Martin Gelinas. ``But we're not in a position to take it easy.
We've been successful because we've done the little things. Tonight
we weren't sharp.''
Goaltender Roberto Luongo, a member of the Canadian Olympic team and
former Islander first-round draft pick, has faced a league-high 1,297
shots. He set an NHL record with 2,475 shots faced in 2003-04.
He is just 4-9-1 with a 2.70 GAA in 17 appearances, including 15
starts, in his career against the Islanders.
Olli Jokinen, a member of Finland's Olympic team, saw his 10-game
points streak end in the loss to New Jersey.
Jokinen, acquired by the Panthers with Luongo in a 2000 trade from
the Islanders for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha, has not scored a goal
at the Nassau Coliseum since March 21, 2000, and has only scored
three goals in 20 games against New York.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 3): Panthers - 37 points, 4th place, 15 PB,
Southeast Division. Islanders - 36 points, 4th place, 20 PB, Atlantic
TEAM LEADERS: Panthers - Jokinen, 18 goals, 25 assists and 43 points;
Chris Gratton, 59 PIM. Islanders - Jason Blake, 17 goals; Alexei
Yashin, 22 assists and 36 points; Arron Asham, 74 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 3): Panthers - Power play: 15 percent (32
for 213), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (222 for 268),
12th. Islanders - Power play: 18.3 percent (44 for 240), 12th.
Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (208 for 256), 20th.
GOALTENDERS: Panthers - Luongo (16-17-5, 2 SO, 2.99 GAA); Jamie
McLennan (0-4-0, 0, 3.10). Islanders - Snow (4-7-0, 0, 3.55);
Dubielewicz (no appearances)
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 19; Islanders, 5-3. At Sunrise, Fla., Shawn Bates
scored twice and DiPietro made 26 saves as New York handed Florida
its 11th straight loss.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Panthers - 4-15-3 on the road; Islanders - 8-9-1