Red-hot Isles visit Panthers

( – The New York Islanders will try to post their longest
winning streak since 2008 on Friday night as they visit the Florida Panthers.

The Islanders have won four straight for the second time this season, having
done so the first time by posting a 4-0 start to the campaign. They haven’t
won five in a row since a six-game run from Feb. 12-21, 2008.

New York has given up only three goals over its current winning streak and has
won its last two contests by way of a shutout. Jaroslav Halak was in net for
both wins, stopping 19 shots in a 1-0 win over Arizona three days before his
20-save effort in Tuesday’s 6-0 rout of Colorado.

Halak is the first Islanders goaltender with consecutive shutouts since 2006
and the club has not allowed a goal in 181 minutes and 11 seconds. It could
set a new franchise record in tonight’s game, with the current longest shutout
streak in club annuals standing at 199:14.

Halak got plenty of support in Tuesday’s win as six different Islanders scored
and 12 skaters had at least one point. Ryan Strome and Nikolay Kulemin had a
goal and an assist each, while Nick Leddy and Anders Lee also scored.

“It’s a team effort, same as last game,” Halak said following his 32nd career
shutout. “They blocked a lot of shots, just like they did last game. Everybody
was tracking back and we didn’t give up many odd-man rushes.”

New York activated forward Josh Bailey off of injured reserve on Thursday,
while placing fellow forward Eric Boulton on IR due to a lower-body ailment.
Bailey has two goals and four assists in seven games this season, missing the
past eight due to a hand ailment.

The Isles will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday but may still go with
Halak in net tonight. He is an excellent 8-1-0 in his career versus the
Panthers with a 1.66 goals against average, .944 save percentage and two

The Panthers will try to get a winning streak going as they recorded a 4-1
triumph over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday to snap an 0-2-1 slump. Jimmy
Hayes and Aleksander Barkov had first-period goals and Derek MacKenzie and
Tomas Fleischmann later lit the lamp.

“It was a great team effort,” said goaltender Roberto Luongo, who made 21
saves. “It was a character win for our boys.”

Luongo has enjoyed the offensive support, with Florida putting up eight goals
over its last two games after netting two or fewer in 10 of its first 11

Luongo is 8-10-2 with a 2.71 GAA and .918 save percentage in his career versus
the Islanders, who have won five of their last seven games against the