Skip to main content

Florida Panthers 2, New York Islanders 4 FINAL

NHL.com @NHL

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ The New York Islanders used 30 seconds of free time to change the momentum and earn a valuable two points.

Jason Blake scored with 8:12 left and added an empty-net goal to help the Islanders beat Florida 4-2 on Saturday night.

Florida took a 2-1 lead midway through the game, and Islanders coach Steve Stirling took his one allotted 30-second timeout.

``Florida had huge momentum, and I didn't want us to get down 3-1,'' Stirling said. ``I wanted to slow their momentum down.''

Blake sent a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo from the left circle to give New York its first win of the season when trailing after two periods (1-17-2-0). Blake also added a short-handed empty-net goal with a minute left.

Radek Martinek and Trent Hunter also scored for the Islanders, and Garth Snow made 25 saves.

``It (the timeout) had an impact,'' Islanders forward Cliff Ronning said. ``We were heading the wrong way. We were getting outplayed, outhustled and outworked.''

Eric Beaudoin and Steven Weiss scored for the Panthers, winless in three straight (0-2-1-0). Luongo made 27 saves.

The best chance in the scoreless first period came with less than two minutes left. Snow made a sliding pad save on Juraj Kolnik's in-close try.

Martinek opened the scoring 80 seconds into the middle period when his high wrist shot beat Luongo, who was screened.

The Panthers struck later for a pair of goals in a 1:48 span to take the lead. Beaudoin tied it at 9:30 when he tucked a rebound of Pavel Trnka's shot just inside the left post.

Sloppy defense led to Weiss' go-ahead goal at 11:18. Left alone to Snow's left, Weiss took a perfect centering pass from Byron Ritchie and buried it into the open net.

Hunter tied it on New York's first power-play opportunity, tipping Adrian Aucoin's shot past Luongo at 3:32 of the final period.

``When we scored that power play goal early in the third, we seemed to pick up a lot of momentum on our side,'' Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson said.

The Panthers had a chance to close the gap on the Islanders, but instead, now trail by nine points, while the Islanders climbed into a seventh-place tie with Montreal.

``It's frustrating,'' Panthers forward Byron Ritchie said. ``This game meant a lot in the playoff race. We played well for two periods. I don't know what happened in the third period. We seem to give up a lot of chances when we have the lead. We might have had a mental collapse.''

View More