Barkov, Panthers to host the Islanders
New York Islanders (46-27-7, second in the Metropolitan Division) vs. Florida Panthers (36-32-12, fifth in the Atlantic Division)
Sunrise, Florida; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Aleksander Barkov Jr. leads Florida into a matchup against New York. He currently ranks 10th in the NHL with 94 points, scoring 34 goals and recording 60 assists.
The Panthers are 20-13-6 on their home ice. Florida has scored 260 goals and is eighth in the NHL averaging 3.2 per game. Mike Hoffman leads the team with 35.
The Islanders are 28-17-5 in Eastern Conference play. New York is last in the Eastern Conference recording 28.8 shots per game. In their last meeting on Nov. 10, Florida won 4-2.
TOP PERFORMERS: Aaron Ekblad leads the Panthers with a plus-three in 80 games played this season. Jonathan Huberdeau has six goals and nine assists over the last 10 games for Florida.
LAST 10 GAMES: Islanders: 5-5-0, averaging 2.1 goals, 3.8 assists, 2.9 penalties and 7.2 penalty minutes while giving up 2.5 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.
Panthers: 5-5-0, averaging 3.5 goals, 6.2 assists, 3.3 penalties and 8.6 penalty minutes while giving up 3.6 goals per game with a .885 save percentage.
Panthers Injuries: James Reimer: day to day (lower body).
Islanders Injuries: Tanner Fritz: out (upper body), Andrew Ladd: out for season (torn acl), Valtteri Filppula: out (upper body).