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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 4, Islanders 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 3 0 0 4
Islanders 1 0 0 0 1
FLA - T. Strachan (1), T. Fleischmann (18), PPG - K. Versteeg (22), J. Skille (3)

NYI - F. Nielson (10)
UNIONDALE (AP) - Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann, Tyson Strachan and Jack Skille scored to lift the Florida Panthers to a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Florida's Jose Theodore made 26 saves in his first appearance since Jan. 20 after suffering a knee injury.

"It was a good weekend for us. It's satisfying. We went out played hard and were rewarded for it."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Like Déjà-vu Or Something: Another road game following the All-Star break and it was another early goal given up by the Panthers. While the goals in the last three road games came within the first two minutes of the game, this one took a little more time in the making. Streaking past the Panthers defense, Frans Nielson scored on a shot top shelf 3:35 into the contest past Jose Theodore in the netminder's first action since January 20th. The goal came on the Islanders first shot of the game. Whether it's a confidence thing or just taking time to find the feet, it's awfully hard to keep coming back from an early lead (and by early it's more like EARLY).

2. Answering Back: An early goal against and the Panthers would not be disheartened yet again. The Panthers would tie it off a career first with 5:03 left in the first period. There Marcel Goc won a draw back to Tyson Strachan. The defenseman, playing in the 75th game of his NHL career, beat Evgeni Nabokov far side with a point shot. The Panthers continued their success with a barrage in the second period in scoring three goals to put away the Islanders. Kris Versteeg beautifully set up Tomas Fleischmann 4:17 into the period as Fleischmann redirected Versteeg's pass from just inside the blueline past Nabokov. Versteeg then added to the lead with a power play goal 11:41 in, scoring from the slot with Tomas Kopecky running a screen. The Panthers upped it to a three-goal lead off another face-off late in the period when Jack Skille, playing in his first game back from injury, scored his third of the season. The goal came with 1:27 left on the clock.

3. Going Streaking: With a three goal lead, the Islanders put a lot of pressure on the Panthers in the third period but Theodore and the defense denied the home team of getting any closer. After allowing a goal on the first shot, Theodore stopped the next 26 shots (including 11 in the third) for the victory. The win gives the Panthers a three-game win streak, their third win streak of that length of the season. In a time of playing three games in four nights and back-to-back days, it's huge to see the Panthers come out with all six points. They did it with a sound defense and timely goals as they outscored their opponents 10-3 over that time frame. Where the victory is even sweeter is the fact that Washington dropped a 3-2 decision earlier in the day to the Rangers. Those results have given the Panthers a four-point lead in the Southeast Division.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@GrantWishner12: Kevin Dineen for Coach of the Year! #FlaPanthers #NHL

@mancphoenix: #FlaPanthers win 4-1 #islanders #Isles excellent road win 2 points.

@altereg0: 7-2 for the weekend. 4 points. and a little breathing room on the Caps. #GreatWeekend #FlaPanthers #BelieveRed

@Ewener: Three game win streak (with two courtesy of the #roadwarriors ) and counting! Keep the streak alive Wednesday! #FlaPanthers

@MetsPanthersFan: Nice 4 point weekend for the #flapanthers. 1st the Devils and now the Islanders. The road warriors have returned.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Carsten Frenz: Division lead by 4!! And a 3 game winning streak. The Cats from the beginning are baaaaaack! :)

Seth Lipson: A real nice win- the key to these wins has been the D-and staying out of the penalty box--see you all Wednesday night!

Sebastian Lovas: ‎3 game win streak! Good game overall. Theo had a good comeback today and Guds played really well, nice to see Flash getting back to his former self again!

Matthew Jagielski: Great game guys. 3 game win streak!! Believe red.

Dara Ross: fabulous hockey weekend for the panthers! get to see jose and skille back in the lineup! Let's make it 4 in a row! see everyone wed night!

1. A pretty loaded stat individually and team wise. Individually, it was the NHL debut of defenseman Colby Robak who took the place of injured blueliner Jason Garrison (lower body). Trailing by a goal in the first, Tyson Strachan knotted the game with his first career NHL goal. Getting their lone power play of the game in the second, Kris Versteeg made it a successful one as he scored 11:41 into the second period.

6. The Panthers put up three goals on the Islanders in the second period, tying the season high for goals in a period. It's the sixth time that they've scored three goals in a period with the last time coming on February 1 against Washington (3rd period).

26. Allowing a goal on the Islanders first shot, Jose Theodore stood tall in his first action since January 20th (8 games), stopping the last 26 shots of the game. That gave the netminder his 15th victory of the season, and 18th against the Islanders in his career (18-9-2).

200. Crashing the net and nicely redirecting Versteeg's pass past Evgeni Nabokov, Tomas Fleischmann notched the 200th point of his NHL career. Accomplished in 360 games, Fleischmann recorded his 86th goal 4:17 into the second (86-114-200). He would pick up point 201 on Versteeg's power play goal.

350. Another career milestone was hit when Versteeg scored on the power play midway through the second. Picking up the second assist on the play, defenseman Brian Campbell registered his 35th helper of the season and 350th point of his career (57-292-349).

Kris Versteeg
Set up the game-winner with a sweet pass to Tomas Fleischmann and then gave the Panthers a two-goal lead with a power play goal.

1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points, 3 Shots, 17:00 TOI
After playing three-in-four, the Panthers will get a little bit of a breather with two days off before their next game. There they'll kick off a four-game homestand with a Wednesday night meeting against the Ottawa Senators. The Panthers will look to get their first victory of the season series as the Senators have won both games in Ottawa by 4-3 finals (one in overtime). Ottawa, who will be in Tampa Tuesday night prior to the game, is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference with 64 points in 58 games (28-22-8). They are led offensively by Jason Spezza (56 points in 58 games), Erik Karlsson (50 points in 57 games) and Daniel Alfredsson (41 points in 52 games). They've relied heavily on netminder Craig Anderson between the pipes who has played in 52 of the Senators 58 games this season, posting a 25-19-6 record with a .908 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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