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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The inconsistent Florida Panthers will be tested by the NHL’s top offense on Monday night.
Florida (10-13-3) had won three of four and seemed to be getting back on track before back-to-back weekend losses to San Jose and Carolina.
Now they’ll begin a three-game homestand against the high-powered New York Islanders, who lead the league in scoring with an average of 3.72 goals per game.
Florida desperately needs to get some momentum at home, where they are just 2-4-2 over their last eight games at the BB&T Center.
The Islanders (15-8-2) will have to solve Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, who has been playing very well since coming off IR (hand) last month.
Luongo is seventh in the NHL with a .928 save percentage as the 38-year-old’s probable Hall of Fame career continues to wind down.
Keeping the Panthers afloat in the scoring department has been the trio of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck.
Barkov has scored three goals in his last four games, giving him nine on the season which trails team-leading Trocheck (10 goals) by one.
Huberdeau leads the Panthers in scoring with 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) and is averaging a point per game so far this season. He appears poised to shatter his previous season high for points, which is 59.
- Barkov, Huberdeau and Trocheck have accounted for 37.3 percent of the Panthers points.
- Luongo has surrendered just 18 goals over his past nine games.
- Keith Yandle leads all Florida defensemen in scoring with 13 points and leads the team in plus/minus with a plus-8 rating. He also is tops on the team in ice time, averaging 24.22 per game.
- Barkov is four points away from becoming the 13th Panthers player to reach 200 for his career.
- Last season Luongo went 2-1-0 with a 2.30 goals against average against the Islanders.