The Islanders had a three-game winning streak stopped with Thursday's 4-1 pounding at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum. Michael Grabner had the lone tally and goaltender Al Montoya stopped 26-of-30 shots for New York, which was playing its first road game of the season.
"We're disappointed with the way that it went, but we definitely know that we're a better team," Islanders defenseman Steve Staios said. "We'll use this as a boost for us."
New York was coming off wins over the Wild, Lightning and Rangers during a season-opening four-game homestand. It defeated Tampa Bay, 5-1, a week ago and couldn't seal the deal this time around. Isles head coach Jack Capuano is hoping other lines can contribute this season instead of the team relying on one player or a particular shift.
"The game plan is set and there were some guys that obviously have had their chances and there are other guys that have to pick it up a little bit," Capuano explained.
Islanders center John Tavares was scoreless after collecting four points in each of his past two contests. Isles G Rick DiPietro (concussion) has started his return to the ice by taking shots and skating in drills. He is expected to be back in the crease soon.
Florida has dropped two straight and three of five games since defeating the Islanders in its season opener at Nassau Coliseum back on Oct. 8.
The Panthers are coming off Thursday's 3-0 loss versus Buffalo, as Jose Theodore stopped 35-of-38 shots for Florida, which was blanked for the second straight game and dropped a 3-0 decision at Washington on Tuesday.
"We had more energy tonight for sure, we have to find a way to score goals 5- on-5 because the last couple of games, even when you get one power play a game, or two you still got to find ways to win games in other areas," said Panthers forward Kris Versteeg.
After scoring seven goals in a 7-4 decision against Tampa Bay on Monday, the Panthers have not scored since. Florida will hit the road for three games against Montreal, Ottawa and Buffalo after hosting the Islanders.
Theodore stopped all 27 shots he faced in his first game as a Panther against the Islanders on Oct. 8, while Stephen Weiss and Jason Garrison both scored. Florida has won seven of 10 and 13 of the last 18 meetings with New York, which has lost nine of 11 and 10 of their last 13 trips to Sunrise.