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Live Updates - Islanders vs. Panthers 4/16/13

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders

Live Updates - Islanders vs. Panthers

7:00 p.m. - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - Uniondale, NY

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Biggest game of the year. Two points on the line tonight in the home finale. Matt Martin is presented with the Bob Nystrom Award for his contributions to the area off the ice. We observe a moment of silence for the events in Boston yesterday. And now it's hockey time.

1st Period
0:34: Colin McDonald with one, two opportunities right in front but Jacob Markstrom closes the door.

3:46: Michael Grabner's wrist shot from the right circle is gloved by Markstrom.

5:15: Islanders are getting dinged for the game's first penalty. Josh Bailey will sit in solitude for holding.

7:15: Bailey comes back. The puck probably spent as much time in the Panthers zone as it did in the Islanders zone. Solid PK effort for the home team: Get the puck. Clear the puck. Line change. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

8:01: Beautiful deflection goal and the Islanders take a 1-0 lead. Thomas Hickey threw it in front from the left wing boards. It looked like Matt Martin changed the angle of the shot to tuck it just inside the goalpost. Lubomir Visnovsky gets the secondary assist.

OK, they're giving it to Matt Moulson in the building, but the consensus among the press box peanut gallery is that Martin definitely touched it. Both players reacted like they got a piece. And I don't think either cares too much who gets credit. We'll see later how it shakes out.

10:00: Fun fact: That's Hickey's fourth point this season (one goal, three assists), but his first against a team not named the Montreal Canadiens.

12:11: McDonald forces a turnover right in front and has a one-on-goalie chance. Markstrom with a solid save, and in the aftermath, McDonald gets taken down by a cross-check from behind by Tyson Strachan. First PP of the night for the Islanders. Florida is 30th in the league on the PK.

12:55: We've got another. A double-minor hi-stick to Erik Gudbranson. Isles will have 1:16 of 5-on-3, and then 2:44 of 5-on-4 until someone scores.

13:59: A bullet from Mark Streit makes it 2-0 on the power play. Okposo set him up from the left circle after a couple of shots collapsed the Florida PK unit down low. That was before the first minor ended, so Strachan will come out and it'll be 5-on-4 for almost three minutes.

15:41: Still 1:14 left on this power play. Lots of shots. 13-6 Isles in that regard.

16:47: Grabner breakaway and it's 3-0. What (and I cannot overstate this enough) a pass by Andrew MacDonald for the Isles second PP goal. Trust me when I say watch the replay later. Grabner split the D as the pass arrived and was able to get just enough room to shift to his backhard and beat Markstrom.

16:58: Casey Cizikas getting four penalty minutes (2-roughing, 2-tripping), while TJ Brennan gets a minor for roughing. End result is the Panthers' second man advantage of the night.

18:12: Dmitry Kulikov rips one home from the right point off the bar and we've got ourselves a barn-burner here, folks. It's 3-1. Florida worked the puck around the zone and the Panthers' d-man had time to really step into that one. Back to even strength. Tomas Fleischmann and Marcel Goc with the helpers.

19:07: Josh Bailey slap shot off the post.

End 1st: NYI 3 FLA 1. Shots: NYI 15 FLA 8. Hope you weren't late getting to this one. Lots of early action.

2nd Period
0:00: They've changed the scoring on Moulson's goal. It's now Moulson from Martin and Hickey. No assist to Visnovsky. Both Moulson and Martin got a piece on the way in.

Also, Eric Hornick (@ehornick) pointed out that that's the first time the Isles have scored three in a first period since last season.

3:19: Well whoever said this could be a trap game underestimated this bunch. Radek Martinek with a one-time blast that went in off the post. Puck went through Martin's screen. The play was in transition, with the pass coming from Jesse Joensuu. 4-1 Islanders.

3:33: 14 seconds later, it's 5-1. Grabner's second of the night. Bad turnover in the Florida zone wound up on Grabs' stick on the ciecle. He deked to his backhand and went high. That's unassisted. Crowd in a full "We want playoffs" chant. Yes, yes we do.

3:33: It appears Scott Clemmensen is going to relieve Markstrom.

4:05: And Clemmensen makes his first save on Brad Boyes breakaway backhand. Nice flip pass from the Islanders zone found Boyes behind the D.

5:05: Cizikas blocks a hard slap shot and hobbles off. He's staying on the bench for now. It looked like it caught him square and he absorbed most of it.

7:44: Panthers get one back. Nabokov came out to cut the angle off on Tomas Kopecky, and the puck went wide. It bounced back off the end boards and toward Goc in the crease, who pushed it in. 5-2 Isles.

11:49: A collision at the Islanders net, and Nabokov is face-down on the ice with the trainer out to take a look. He got driven in by Scottie Upshall and Lubomir Visnovsky. Nabby is taking his time shaking off that one. This game has gotten chippy lately. A few hard hits going around. Let's hope this stays under control.

12:19: McDonald leveled Strachan with a hit on the Florida zone. That almost turned into fisticuffs, but McDonald turned down a fight. Crowd appreciated that one after the recent physicality from Florida's end.

End 2nd: Kyle Okposo almost slides one in at the horn, but we go to break at 5-2. Shots: NYI 24 FLA 16.

3rd Period
2:28: Odd-man rush for the Isles. Hickey feeds across to John Tavares, who is stopped by Clemmensen. Quinton Howden crashed into the goal post hard (and I mean hard), pushing everything back to the end boards. He skates back to the bench after everyone held their breath for a moment.

3:25: Update from earlier. Cizikas is out with an upper-body injury and will not return. He skated of slowly after blocking a shot in the second period.

7:15: MacDonald sits two minutes for tripping. This game feels in hand for the Islanders, but we've seen Florida score three times in a third period before. TV timeout before the power play, so I'm sure that's in the back of everyone's mind right now. Florida is 1-for-2 on the job tonight.

11:13: Islanders have taken their foot off the gas peedal a little bit, and seem content to squeeze the life out of Florida's offense and hold on to the win. Shots: NYI 27 FLA 23.

14:22: Hamonic goes to the box for tripping.

15:40: Nabokov with his finest stop of the night on a chance down low.

16:05: I stand corrected. Copy-paste: Nabokov with his finest stop of the night on a chance down low. Again.

16:37: Grabs with a chance at the hat trick. He winds up, and shatters his stick on impact.

18:09: Referees are going to give the Panthers power play one last look. Joensuu sits 1:51 or less for interference. Timeout Florida.

18:57: Nabokov catches Upshall's point shot and stops play.

New York Islanders
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
12 Josh Bailey - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
6 Jesse Joensuu - 53 Casey Cizikas - 17 Matt Martin
40 Michael Grabner - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald

47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
2 Mark Streit - 4 Radek Martinek

20 Evgeni Nabokov
60 Kevin Poulin

Florida Panthers
14 Tomas Fleischmann - 57 Marcel Goc - 82 Tomas Kopecky
19 Scottie Upshall - 27 Nick Bjugstad - 12 Jack Skille
18 Shawn Matthias - 11 Jonathan Huberdeau - 37 Greg Rallo
42 Quinton Howden - 15 Drew Shore - 22 George Parros

7 Dmitry Kulikov - 44 Erik Gudbranson
51 Brian Campbell - 43 Mike Weaver
3 TJ Brennan - 23 Tyson Strachan

35 Jacob Markstrom
30 Scott Clemmensen
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