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Cats Earn Point in 4-3 Shootout Loss on Long Island

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers earned three of six possible points during this week's road trip to the Northeast and now head home to face the San Jose Sharks on Halloween night and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

The Cats will play eight of their next 11 games on home ice, where they have a winning record of 4-1-0.

On Saturday night, Andy Hilbert scored in the 10th round of the shootout to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Miroslav Satan, with the help of a video review, scored for the Islanders in the first round, but on their last chance, Olli Jokinen of the Panthers beat Rick DiPietro to tie the shootout score.

Jay Bouwmeester tied the game at 3-3 with 3:29 left in regulation when he got a bounce off teammate Stephen Weiss' skate and blasted the puck past Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro.

Shawn Bates, Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake scored for New York, who is now 3-1-2 after six games of a seven-game home stand. Rick DiPietro turned aside 22 shots for just his second win this season.

Nathan Horton and Joel Kwiatkowski also scored for the Panthers, who have only won twice in their last eight games. Ed Belfour played solidly as he stopped 36 shots.

Bates scored his first goal this season at 5:55 of the opening period. He was sent on a breakaway off a perfect feed from Brendan Witt, and his 10-foot wrist shot from the low slot squirted between Belfour's pads. DiPietro also earned an assist on the play.

Horton tied the game at 7:59 on the Panthers' first power play. He moved down low on the right side, outmuscled defenseman Sean Hill, and shoved a backhand past DiPietro.

Florida now has at least one power play goal in 10 of their first 13 contests.

Yashin restored the Islanders' lead at 12:15 when he finished off a two-on-one with Jason Blake by one-timing Blake's bounce pass past Belfour.

Yashin has 12 points in New York's first 10 games (4-8-12), with eight of those points coming in his last four games.

Kwiatkowski tied the game at 10:08 of the second period. He fired a bouncing puck towards DiPietro, and the puck fluttered between his legs.

Blake answered back with 62 seconds left in the period on a power-play tip in.

The Islanders had a season high 20 shots in the period.

Notes: Joe Nieuwendyk missed his second straight game for Florida with back problems. ... Panthers coach Jacques Martin needs one win to become the 13th NHL coach with 450 career wins. ... DiPietro's assist is his first point since Oct. 5 of last seasonBlake needs one more goal to reach 100 NHL career goals.

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