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SUNRISE (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Florida Panthers look to avoid a losing homestand and end a three-game winless streak when they host the New York Islanders on Friday.
The Panthers, who take to the road for five in a row after the contest, fell to 1-2-1 in their last four at home after a 3-1 defeat against Los Angeles on Monday.
“I’m not frustrated, we just need to figure out what the problem is and fix it,” Florida’s Jaromir Jagr told reporters after the team’s ninth loss in 12 games. “We still have a lot of time.”
Jagr has 730 career goals – one behind Marcel Dionne for fourth place in NHL history – and the Islanders will attempt to force him to wait at least another few days while posting back-to-back wins.
Kyle Okposo and captain John Tavares bring point streaks of six and four games, respectively, into the contest for New York. The Islanders need to get their power play in gear after going 2-for-35 in 11 games this month.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG Plus2 (New York), FSN Florida
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (11-8-3): Okposo scored in the 3-1 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday and has notched eight points during his streak, while Tavares has recorded six (three goals) on his run. The Islanders, just 5-6-2 since a strong 6-2-1 start, recalled former first-round pick Ryan Strome on Thursday. Strome, who played with Tavares earlier in the season, scored one goal in 12 games before being sent to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, where he registered four points in eight contests.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (8-9-4): The forward lines were changed up in practice Wednesday, with Brandon Pirri moving up with Aleksander Barkov and Jagr while Jonathan Huberdeau slid down to a unit with Nick Bjugstad and Reilly Smith. “We’re trying to get a little more balance, wake things up a little,” coach Gerard Gallant told the Miami Herald. The Panthers also recalled Logan Shaw and Connor Brickley from Portland of the AHL and assigned fellow forwards Garrett Wilson and Rocco Grimaldi to the Pirates.
1. Florida D Dmitry Kulikov (knee) has begun skating after missing the last four games and could return next week.
2. New York D Travis Hamonic, who recently requested a trade, leads the team with a plus-9 rating.
3. The Panthers won two of the three meetings last season, including one in a shootout.
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