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Isles vs Panthers Gameday: lineups, news and more | October
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The New York Islanders 2011-12 season is finally upon. The Islanders begin their 40th anniversary campaign against the Florida Panthers.  The Islanders were 2-2 against the Panthers Last season.

Meet the Opponents:

The Florida Panthers will be an interesting team to watch this season in the Southeast. Adding Jose Theodore, Kris versteeg, Ed Jovanovski, Scottie Upshall, and Brian Campbell make then look like a much tougher team than last year, on paper. How the new guys mesh together will be a different story.

-In net for the Panthers will be Jose Theodore.  Last season Theodore appeared in 32 games for the Minnesota wild going 15-11-3 with a 2.71 GAA and .916 save percentage.

-Yesterday, in a meeting at Nassau Coliseum, the Panthers named their four alternate captains for the year. Defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Brian Campbell, center Stephen Weiss, and right wing Tomas Kopecky were given the coveted “A” for the season. (Sun Sentinel)

-Here is tonight’s lineup according to Panthers beat writer Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel:

Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
Booth-Kopecky-Upshall
Bergenheim-Goc-Skille
Matthias-Carter-Bradley

Campbell-Garrison
Kulikov-Weaver
Gudbranson-Jovanovski

The Islanders:

The Islanders will look to get off on the right foot this year. The last two seasons the Isles have lost in overtime in their season opener; last season against the Stars and the year before that to the Penguins.  With something to prove this year, the guys are done talking about making the playoffs and looking to actually doing it. Expect, as always, a very emotional home opener tonight.

-The Islanders announced this morning that Al Montoya, not Rick Dipietro, will be starting tonight’s game A surprise to may since everyone had agreed that Dipietro would most likely be starting the year. Montoya was one of the many positives that came out of the second half of last season for the Isles.  He appeared in 20 games going 9-5-5 with a 2.39 GAA and .921 save percentage.

- Here is tonight’s projected line up for the Islanders:

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau
Michael Grabner-Frans Nielson-Kyle Okposo
Brian Rolston-Josh Bailey-Blake Comeau
Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasonor-Matt Martin

Mark Streit-Steve Staios
Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic
Mark Eaton-Mike Mottau

Other Notes:

-The team is holding special pregame festivities on the box office plaza. Music, games and giveaways during, so make sure you check it out. Starts at 5:30.

-Also, make sure to stop by the Isles Meet up in Doolin’s prior to the game as well. Hockey This Week will be broadcasting live prior to the start of the game and will be joined by special guests Rob McGowan and other members of the NY Islanders Blog Box.