NHL Picks Florida at NY Islanders NHL Odds February 21st 2011 - THE STORY: The Florida Panthers continue their four-game road trip Monday afternoon when they take on the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Florida, which is 1-0 on its trek, still has aspirations of making the playoffs as it is seven points behind eighth-place Carolina in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand. However, the Panthers have been struggling, losing 11 of their last 15 games overall and five of seven on the road. New York has won five of its last six and seven of 10 this month.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FS-Florida, MSG Plus
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (22-30-7): New York recorded its third win in five home games Saturday, a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles. Matt Moulson scored twice against his former team and Al Montoya made 35 saves in posting his second career shutout and first since blanking Colorado in his NHL debut with Phoenix on April 1, 2009. The Islanders are 11-14-4 for 26 points at home, more than only Ottawa (23) and Edmonton (24). NHL Odds NY Islanders -120 favorites.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (25-26-7): Florida kicked off its road trip Saturday with a 3-2 shootout win over Tampa Bay. Mike Santorelli converted a power-play chance with three minutes remaining in the third period to forge a tie before scoring the lone goal of the bonus format. David Booth also tallied as the Panthers went 2 for 3 with the man advantage. Tomas Vokoun has been outstanding against the Islanders over his career, going 14-4-1 with four shutouts and a 1.86 goals-against average.
WHO'S HOT/WHO'S HOT: Booth has two goals during his three-game point streak. Florida defenseman Dennis Wideman has averaged a point per game over his last seven and teammate Marty Reasoner has notched five points in as many contests. The Panthers' Radek Dvorak has one goal in 16 matches and two in his last 27, while teammate Jack Skille is mired in a 12-game drought. Islanders rookie Michael Grabner has registered 10 goals and 14 points in eight games. New York's John Tavares has scored five goals in six contests and 15 points in 10 matches. Frans Nielsen has only three scores - all shorthanded - in 26 games while Kyle Okposo has gone nine contests without a goal for the Islanders.
SPECIAL TEAMS: The Islanders are in the middle of the pack on the power play, ranking 15th with a 17.9 percent success rate, while Florida is a dismal 27th at 14.3 percent. The Panthers have successfully killed 86.3 percent of their penalties, the third-best mark in the league. New York is 12th with an 82.4 percent success rate.
SEASON SERIES: Florida won each of the first two meetings, posting a 4-3 triumph at home on Oct. 23 and skating to a 4-1 victory Nov. 20 on Long Island. Tavares recorded his first career hat trick in the Oct. 23 matchup. NHL Picks Bet on NY Islanders.
KEY INJURIES: FLORIDA: D Dmitry Kulikov (ankle); RW Evgeny Dadonov (finger); C Shawn Matthias (ankle). NY ISLANDERS: C Jeremy Colliton (ribs); C Doug Weight (back); G Kevin Poulin (knee); RW Trent Hunter (knee); G Rick DiPietro (face); D Mark Streit (shoulder); D Mark Eaton (hip); D Mike Mottau (eye).
LAST WORD: The Islanders have not fared well of late against the Panthers, dropping three straight meetings and six of seven. Florida also has captured two of its last three visits to Long Island.