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Panthers Wrap-Up: Islanders 3, Panthers 0

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Islanders 1 0 2 0 3
NYI - PP - A. MacDonald (3), EN - J. Tavares (19), EN - C. Cizikis (5)

UNIONDALE, NY —  After Friday's 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov told reporters he needed to be better if the Isles were ever going to snap out of their funk on home ice.

On Sunday, he was much better.

"We have to find some production and we have to keep encouraging some of the plays that are creating chances for but we need some finish right now. We need some opportunistic guys to step up and say that there's a heck of a lot of opportunity for them to produce right now and unfortunately it's not happening yet."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Power Play Lead: Playing their second game in two days, the Panthers wanted to get off to an even start with the rested Islanders but instead found themselves trailing 6:05 into the contest. With New York on a power play and Filip Kuba sitting in the box for tripping, the Islanders used most of their opportunity but got the game's first goal as Andrew MacDonald blasted a shot past Jacob Markstrom. It was a period in which the Islanders had the better opportunities, outshooting Florida 13-4 and Markstrom had to come up with some big saves with the Islanders keeping the Panthers pinned in their own zone for extended periods of time.

2. Nothing To Show 2nd: Chances were a plenty in the second period as the offenses picked up their games. Too bad the goaltenders were equally on top of theirs as the game went to the third with the Islanders still holding that 1-0 lead. Florida's line of Quinton Howden, Jerred Smithson and Greg Rallo (recently called up) had some of the Panthers best chances on several different rushes, including one after a turnover in the neutral zone but Evgeni Nabokov came up with several big stops. The Panthers peppered the Islanders netminder with 12 shots but couldn't find the back of the net. Markstrom was equally as good, turning aside 11 Islanders shots on his end of the ice. He had to come up with a big save with seconds to go in the period off a face-off to keep the Cats to within one..

3. Goaltending Reigns Supreme: The goaltenders were the story through the first two periods and kept it going in the third. Florida had a power play chance early in the period but were only able to muster two shots on net while not really getting anything substantial. The teams combined for another 23 shots in the third period. The Islanders really retook momentum in the final 20 minutes and outshot the Panthers 13-10 and the 3-0 final was aided by two empty net goals in the final 31 seconds of play with the Panthers looking to get on the board. John Tavares scored to make it a 2-0 game and Cody Cizikas added the third goal with 13 seconds remaining. Nabokov was strong with 26 saves but Markstrom posted his third strong game in a row, allowing a single goal on 35 shots.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@desaparegut: @FlaPanthers y'all gon make me lose my mind

@JaakkoVhkuopus: @FlaPanthers would've needed a bit more mojo in offensive playing. Markström alone as post-guardian was not enough tonight. :-I #FLAHockey

@jimmykarlstrom: @j_markstrom was outstanding again but we need some goals guys!

@KittonMitton: Seems when our offense is on our goalies are not up to par. And when our goalies are good our offense vanishes. Never synced @FlaPanthers

@LARRIE14: another outstanding game for Markstrom. he's a keeper!

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Gina Pengue: They played hard!!!! Hopefully they can take notes for the next season!!!!!!

Rosa Ruiz: It's hard to watch.. Go Panthers Go all the Way.

Jeff Carter: Another huge game by the Alien. Not gonna win games without scoring at least 1. The future looks bright though. GO CATS

Pat Lammer: Blanked again ... Ugggh

Melanie Leon: This season has been so heartbreaking.

1. Jacob Markstrom has been strong of late allowed just one goal for the third game in a row. The netminder has stopped 33, 44 and 34 shots over those three games, posting a .974 save percentage over that span.

2. The Islanders made a close game look not so close with two empty net goals in an 18 second span as John Tavares ad Cody Cizikas scored in the final 31 seconds.

8. The Panthers finished with 16 hits as a team. Islanders forward Colin McDonald had half that total by himself as he led both teams in the hit category, two more than teammate Matt Martin.

New York used almost their entire first power play to score but did get on the board as Andrew MacDonald scored with 14 seconds left on the man advantage early in the first period.

23. The Panthers and Islanders combined for 23 shots in both the second and third periods. In the second, Florida held the 12-11 shot advantage while in the third it was the Islanders with the 13-10 shot advantage.

Jacob Markstrom
Yes Nabokov came away with the shutout but Markstrom was the busier of the two netminders and a lot of the Panthers shots were easier to see.

35 Shots, 34 Saves, .971 SV%
Florida closes out their season-long five-game road trip with a meeting against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. Toronto shut out Florida in their first meeting of the season, winning 3-0 back on Feb. 18. Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri and Clarke MacArthur all scored while Ben Scrivens stopped all 35 shots. Toronto will look to sweep their home-and-home series against the Bruins on Monday night. On Saturday, they hung on for a 3-2 victory at home. Kadri (34 points in 32 games) and Kessel (30 points in 32 games) lead the way offensively for the Leafs.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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