SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Jamie McLennan made the most of a rare start and earned his first win of the season.
"When you don't play much you want to contribute when you do," McLennan said. "I was really excited to play."
It was McLennan's first win since the 2003-04 season.
"He made some good saves and gave us some life," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said.
Jay Bouwmeester, Joe Nieuwendyk and Martin Gelinas netted the other goals for Florida.
Miroslav Satan scored both New York goals. Rick DiPietro stopped 40 saves, but it wasn't enough to keep the Islanders from losing for the second straight night following a four-game winning streak that got them back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
"I think we battled hard and deserved to tie the game," Satan said. "I think we were thinking about the shootout too soon. We just didn't finish the game."
The 10th-place Islanders are five points behind Montreal, which currently holds the final postseason spot.
"It feels like a must-win situation," DiPietro said. "It's disappointing because we needed these two points. The games keep getting more and more important."
Kolnik took the puck from behind the net and let go a shot from the left circle. The puck trickled under the right leg of DiPietro and across the line.
"I saw the puck was loose and I got up and put it in," Kolnik said. "It's a big two points for us."
Gelinas added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal Florida's win.
Satan got the Islanders even at 2 at 7:49 of the third. Shawn Bates sent a backhand pass to the right of the crease to Satan, who flipped the puck into the net as McLennan fell down.
"Bates made a great play to me and it was easy to put it in," Satan said.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead on Nieuwendyk's power-play goal at 16:07 of the second. Jon Sim's shot was blocked but the puck stayed in front on the crease. DiPietro fell down, and Nieuwendyk poked a shot up high to give the Panthers their first man-advantage goal in six games.
"We haven't been in synch at all (on the power play)," Nieuwendyk said. "I thought we were more aggressive tonight getting pucks to the net."
The Islanders got even at 1 at 13:24 of the first. Satan's slap shot from the right circle got past McLennan on the stick side.
Florida took a 1-0 lead just 33 seconds in. Sean Hill fired a shot from the blue line, and the defenseman Bouwmeester redirected the puck in to notch his first goal of the season, despite playing in all 66 games this season.
"It's good to get the monkey off your back," Bouwmeester said. "Hopefully, there's more out there. I was in the right spot at the right time."
Notes: Panthers D Lukas Krajicek missed his fourth game due to the flu. ... New York C Mike York sat out because of a concussion.
|Jay Bouwmeester (1) ASST: Sean Hill (13), Jozef Stumpel (33)|
1 - 0 FLA
|PPG - Miroslav Satan (27) ASST: Denis Grebeshkov (3), Shawn Bates (15)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Joe Nieuwendyk (18) ASST: Jon Sim (10), Mike Van Ryn (23)|
2 - 1 FLA
|Miroslav Satan (28) ASST: Shawn Bates (16), Trent Hunter (18)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Juraj Kolnik (10) ASST: Rostislav Olesz (12)|
3 - 2 FLA
|EN - Martin Gelinas (15) ASST: Mike Van Ryn (24), Jozef Stumpel (34)|
4 - 2 FLA
|Robert Nilsson Too many men/ice - bench|
|Nathan Horton Tripping|
|Serge Payer Hooking|
|Joe Nieuwendyk Hooking|
|Wyatt Smith Tripping|