Panthers-Islanders Preview

The Florida Panthers have a chance to regain sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division.

They can do it by sweeping the season series from the New York Islanders for the first time in eight years Monday night.

Florida (38-21-9) trails idle Boston by one point for the Atlantic's top spot with two games in hand.

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The Panthers are opening a stretch of six of seven on the road, where they are 3-6-2 in their last 11 after winning 11 of the previous 13.

The venue, though, hasn't mattered much when facing the Islanders (37-21-8). Florida is 6-1-1 in its last eight meetings with New York, winning three of four on the road after a 5-1 victory in its first visit to Brooklyn on Dec. 15.

The Panthers are trying to win all three matchups this season, which would be their first season sweep of the Islanders since taking all four in 2007-08.

Aleksander Barkov had one goal and two assists in the most recent meeting, giving him six points in six career games in the series. He has nine and six in his last 16 games, scoring one goal and netting the decisive shootout tally in Saturday's 5-4 victory over Philadelphia.

Barkov is 5 of 6 in the tiebreaker with four game-winners. The Panthers are 7-3 in the shootout, the most wins in the league.

Offense isn't a problem for the Panthers, who have 15 goals over the last three games (2-0-1).

"We've been shooting a lot of pucks and every now and then they're going to find their way in. There's no real secret to it," said Reilly Smith, who had two goals Saturday.

Smith, who is tied with Jaromir Jagr for the team lead with 23 goals, has three with six assists in eight games against the Islanders.

This has also been a favorable matchup for Jussi Jokinen, who has seven points in his last five against New York. The center enters this one with 12 during a career-high 10-game point streak.

The Islanders have been cooled with consecutive losses following a 7-1-0 stretch that helped them tighten their grip on third in the Metropolitan Division. Their lead over fourth-place Pittsburgh has been cut to two points, though they do have two games in hand.

Both of those losses - including Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Boston - have come since No. 1 goaltender Jaroslav Halak went down with a lower-body injury that will sideline him at least six weeks.

Thomas Greiss hasn't played badly in the losses and ranks second in the league with a .928 save percentage, but could be rested Monday in favor of rookie Jean-Francois Berube. Berube has split his two starts and hasn't played since a relief appearance in a 5-1 loss at Detroit on Feb. 6.

"We'll see how it goes," Islanders coach Jack Capuano told the team's official website. "There's no question he's a proven goalie in the American League and he's played some good games with us. I have confidence that when I put him in there he's going to do the job."

John Tavares has a goal in three straight games and a point in his last four. New York's captain doesn't have a point against Florida this season after totaling five in three games in 2014-15.

The Islanders are 7 for 20 on the power play during a 5-0-1 stretch at home.