The Florida Panthers will have a new player in the lineup on Friday night when they visit the New York Islanders at Belmont Park.
Givani Smith, the forward Florida acquired on Monday from the Red Wings, was recalled from AHL Charlotte and will be in against the Islanders according to coach Paul Maurice.
Maurice did not say who was coming out, suggesting the flu bug that has been cycling through the team is not yet done with them.
Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net.
”He is a forechecker,” Maurice said of Smith. “He has speed, size and doesn’t have any fear in his game. One of our strengths is forechecking and our ability to get a puck to the net off our forecheck, to retrieve it and get to our net. We think he fits very well.”
Said Smith: “It has been a busy week with the trade, going to a different team and moving all my stuff. But it has gone pretty smooth.”
Although the Islanders have not announced a starter, Ilya Sorokin went on Thursday night against the Rangers and Semyon Varlamov has been out after leaving Saturday night’s game against Vegas in the third period with a lower-body injury.
While Varlamov could return, it is very possible Roberto Luongo’s old running mate Cory Schneider starts against the Panthers.
Schneider, 36, was Luongo’s teammates in Vancouver for parts of four seasons.
He has spent the past three seasons with the Islanders’ organization playing almost all of his games with AHL Bridgeport.
This has been a good season for Schneider in Bridgeport, going 10-3-2 with a .921 save percentage and 2.51 GAA in 15 games this season.
If he plays tonight, it will be his first NHL start since April 3 when he made 27 saves in a win against his former team, the Devils.
Schneider has played in just that one NHL game since leaving New Jersey at the end of the 2019-20 season.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS
- When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: UBS Arena; Elmont, N.Y.
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Draft Kings odds — Panthers favored: Moneyline (-140); Puck line (-1.5, +195); Over/Under 6.5 (-140/+120)
- Last season: Florida won 3-0
- This season (Florida 2-0): Florida 3, Islanders 1 (Oct. 13); Florida 3, Islanders 2 (Oct. 23)
- All-time regular season series: Panthers lead 56-32-11, 8 ties
- Next Up for the Panthers: Dec. 29 vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 12 Eric Staal // 21 Nick Cousins
14 Grigori Denisenko // 22 Zac Dalpe // 54 Givani Smith
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour
28 Josh Mahura // 3 Matt Kiersted
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Spencer Knight
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Chris Tierney (UBI), Sasha Barkov (LBI), Radko Gudas (UBI)
Scratched: Colin White
PROJECTED NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINEUP
12 Josh Bailey // 13 Mathew Barzal // 26 Oliver Wahlstrom
27 Anders Lee // 29 Brock Nelson // 18 Anthony Beauvillier
11 Zach Parise // 44 J-G Pageau // 10 Simon Holmstrom
17 Matt Martin // 53 Casey Cizikas // 20 Hudson Fasching
3 Adam Pelech // 6 Ryan Pulock
2 Robin Salo // 6 Ryan Pulock
28 Alexander Romanov // 8 Noah Dobson
25 Sebastian Aho // 24 Scott Mayfield
35 Cory Schneider
30 Ilya Sorokin