Isles, Panthers clash at the Coliseum

The first-place Florida Panthers will try to post their game winning streak since early December when they visit the New York Islanders for today's clash at Nassau Coliseum.

Florida, which leads Washington by two points atop the Southeast Division, has posted consecutive 3-1 victories since Tuesday's disappointing 4-0 road loss to the Capitals.

Another win today would give the Panthers their first three-game win streak since Dec. 3-8 and would also ensure that Florida stays ahead of the Caps in the division race. Washington also has a tilt this afternoon against the Rangers in New York City.

The Panthers were in action Saturday afternoon in New Jersey and were able to record a 3-1 victory against the Devils. Florida's Kris Versteeg put the Panthers ahead in the second period with his fifth goal in four meetings against New Jersey this season. Versteeg has 21 total goals this season to lead Florida and he also paces the club with 46 points.

Former Devils backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen got the better of his former teammate, Martin Brodeur, stopping 27 shots for the win. Sean Bergenheim also scored and Mikael Samuelsson added an empty-net goal in the victory.

Jose Theodore could get the start in net for Florida today for the first time since Jan. 20. The veteran backstop recently returned from a knee injury and suited up as Clemmensen's backup on Saturday. He is 14-9-5 with a 2.50 goals- against average this season.

Panthers defenseman Jason Garrison left Saturday's game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. He is questionable for today's test.

Florida is 12-12-4 as the guest this year and is completing a brief two-game trip today.

The Islanders have earned a point in six of their last seven games (4-1-2) and are coming off Saturday's overtime win against visiting Los Angeles. Mark Streit netted the game-winning goal 96 seconds into extra session to lift New York to the 2-1 decision.

Michael Grabner scored the lone goal in regulation for the Islanders, who bounced back from Thursday's regulation loss to Montreal. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 34-of-35 shots to pick up the win.

The Isles are trying to break into the Eastern Conference playoff picture and are currently eight points out of a postseason berth.

Today's contest marks the end of a three-game homestand for New York, which is 12-12-5 on Long Island this season.

Florida beat the Isles twice back in October and has taken five of seven overall in this series. The Panthers have two wins in their last three trips to the Coliseum and Theodore recorded a shutout there back on Oct. 8 in a 2-0 decision for Florida.