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GAME PREVIEW: ISLANDERS VS. PANTHERS

The Islanders prepare for their second game against the Florida Panthers this season

Saturday, 11.20.2010 / 12:00 AM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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GAME PREVIEW: ISLANDERS VS. PANTHERS
Saturday night’s matchup versus the Florida Panthers at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is the Islanders 19th game of the season and their second under their new interim head coach Jack Capuano. After making his NHL debut on Wednesday, Capuano knows his second game behind the bench will present challenges.

“(The Panthers) are a quick team and transition well on defense,” Capuano said. “I watched the game last night against Boston. They’re well coached with Peter DeBoer there. So as far as what they do, we really need to generate offense and play solid defensive zone coverage.”

To help with the Islanders system, Capuano has made small changes in the past few days.

John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders faces off against Marty Reasoner #19 of the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center on October 23, 2010 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
“We have simplified some things,” said Islanders center John Tavares about the changes. “I know as forwards, the system is designed to have us mostly read and react, so we aren’t thinking too much. Once we get in the offensive zone, we just have to be creative and do what we do best. I think the changes should benefit us, especially with the short time that we’ve had with Jack (Capuano) here, trying to make things more straight forward.”

After watching video of the Islanders last game, Capuano also noticed that the players haven’t been releasing the puck off of their stick quick enough and fail to get solid scoring chances, noting that other players around the National Hockey League release the puck with better reaction time. Instead, the Islanders have been giving their opponents’ defense and goaltender enough time to get into position to block shots.

“The last few days have been really upbeat,” Tavares said. “A lot of the drills we’ve been doing have been trying to push our pace. Obviously we’ve been working on some system work, so it’s been good preparation and we’re looking for a big win tomorrow.”

But Tavares knows the Panthers aren’t going to be an easy matchup and he said playing with intensity for 60 minutes and putting pucks to the net, the Islanders should have an opportunity for a win.

“They’re a team that always finds ways to win,” Tavares said. “They have great goaltending on the team. They play a pretty simple system but they work hard at it and they can frustrate you at times so we have to make sure we’re ready that our battle level is as high as theirs and if we are able to get the opportunities like we did last game, we should be in pretty good position to get back on track.”

The Islanders first loss of their current 11 game winless streak was delivered by the Panthers in a 4-3 decision on Oct. 23. Perhaps a win on Saturday night might inspire future victories.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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