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game recap

Three third-period goals help Islanders top Panthers

Forwards Okposo, Bailey, Clutterbuck scored 5:31 apart in win

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

Clutterbuck's go-ahead goal

FLA@NYI: Clutterbuck beats Luongo to take the lead

3/14/16: Cal Clutterbuck fires a backhander from a sharp angle past Roberto Luongo to put the Islanders on top late in the 3rd period

  • 01:08 •

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano was so angry after two periods Monday, he didn't enter the dressing room before the start of the third.

"I didn't really want to break anything," Capuano said. "If you have to go in and tell them the importance of the game … it's (captain John Tavares') team. I could sense it. He was frustrated on the bench there, and I just figured at that particular point in time … like I've said before, we prepare them, we made some adjustments going into the third, but they have to play the game. 

"It's their team. It's the leaders at this point in time of the year. That was probably the reason we felt as a staff to let the guys handle it and do what they need to do."

They did.

Video: FLA@NYI: Bailey puts a rebound past Luongo to tie it

Cal Clutterbuck's goal with 1:39 remaining completed a third-period rally in the Islanders' 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers at Barclays Center.

New York (38-21-8) erased a two-goal deficit on goals 1:21 apart by Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey more than midway through the period. Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for the Islanders, who moved within a point of the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division with two games in hand. The Islanders will play at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. 

"There's plenty of motivation at this point of the year," Bailey said. "These are the games you think about from the time the summer starts, until the season starts, until now. You're just building for this stretch. We want to keep progressing in the right direction and tonight was a good one.

"If we're not playing well, (the coaching staff) kind of leaves it up to us to talk about it and go out there. We know our game plan and we know what we need to do; it's just a matter of executing, and we did a better job of that in the third."

Video: FLA@NYI: Okposo wrists it past Luongo

Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists and Roberto Luongo made 25 saves for Florida (38-22-9), which failed to move into first place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers play at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Okposo ended Luongo's shutout bid when he scored on a wrist shot from the slot with 7:10 remaining. Bailey tied it with 5:49 left when he collected Tavares' rebound near the right post and put it past Luongo to make it 2-2. 

"We let them skate in the third period," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "We backed off too much. They took it to us. The first goal killed us. You lose a game like that (and) you're going to be [upset]."

Clutterbuck gave the Islanders the lead when his backhand shot from a sharp angle near the right goal post got past Luongo to the far side. 

Video: FLA@NYI: Bjudstad wrists it past Greiss on power play

"Not the way you draw it up," Clutterbuck said. "But that third period, that's good stuff. Two points. Terrible start. We're moving on."

Barkov opened the scoring at 15:11 of the first period. With the teams at even strength, Alex Petrovic sent a nice cross-ice feed along the right wall that Barkov redirected past Greiss near the left goal post for his third goal in the past four games. Huberdeau had an assist to extend his point streak to four games.

Florida outshot New York 11-5 in the first period.

Nick Bjugstad made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 8:03 of the second period. After Islanders forward Matt Martin was whistled for interference, Barkov poked the puck to Bjugstad at the left circle, where he shot it past Greiss. It was Bjugstad's first goal since Feb. 15, a span of 12 games.

Video: FLA@NYI: Barkov buries Petrovic's pass

"I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to know that our first 40, first 35, were some of our worst minutes," Clutterbuck said. "But that being said, the third period's a big third period for us." 

Luongo made his best save of the game 2:14 into the third period when he denied Brock Nelson's point-blank chance after a feed by Bailey from behind the net. The Panthers held on for another 10 minutes before things fell apart.

"We played a few good periods and then shut down," Bjugstad said. "We looked great in the first two periods. It's a tough way to lose. It was such a high in the first two periods. Very disappointing."

Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen's 10-game point streak ended. Forward Jaromir Jagr played his 1,616th NHL game and passed Larry Murphy for eighth place on the all-time list.

Video: Islanders use three-goal 3rd to edge Panthers, 3-2

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