Panthers Stop Islanders’ Surge With 4-2 Victory
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Scottie Upshall scored a short-handed goal and had an assist to lead the Florida Panthers over the New York Islanders 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers. Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots, and Ed Jovanovski had two assists.
Thomas Vanek and Colin McDonald scored for the Islanders. Kevin Poulin made 22 saves.
The win was the first for Florida over the Islanders in five games, dating to the 2011-2012 season. The Islanders lost for the first time in five games and had a seven-game road winning streak snapped.
The Panthers took a 4-0 lead on the short-handed goal by Upshall in the second. Upshall took control of the puck as it slid away from New York’s Andrew MacDonald at the blue line and skated in on Poulin, beating him on the stick side at 15:54 for his second short-handed goal of the season and first goal since Nov.30 against Pittsburgh.
The Islanders scored with 31 seconds left in the second. Matt Martin passed from behind the net in front to McDonald, who poked the puck past Thomas to make it 4-1.
New York closed to 4-2 on Vanek’s goal in the third. Vanek took a pass from Frans Nielsen behind the net and beat Thomas at 2:38.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the first, the first time they had scored three goals in a period since a 4-2 win over Dallas in the season opener on Oct. 3.
Florida scored just 32 seconds in for its fastest goal this season. The Islanders turned the puck over at the blue line and Brad Boyes passed to Barkov low in the right circle. His wrist shot beat Poulin.
Shore’s goal made it 2-0. Shore was the last Panthers player to touch the puck before it went off the skate of defenseman Brian Strait and into the net at 15:34. The goal was Shore’s first of the season.
Bjugstad stretched the lead to 3-0 when his shot from in front beat Poulin on the left side with 36 seconds left in the first.
The Islanders killed off a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:14 in the first period. The Panthers’ power-play drought extended to 0 for 22 in the past seven games.
NOTES: The Panthers will host the 2015 NHL draft in Sunrise from June 26-27. … Jovanovski’s two assists were the first points for the Panthers’ captain since returning to the lineup from hip surgery on Jan. 4. … Thomas faced New York for the first time since he left the team as a free agent in July. He was traded to the Islanders from Boston in February but never played a game for them. … Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov, on injured reserve since Jan. 6, has resumed skating but is still inactive.
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