Panthers Hold Off Islanders
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Jacob Markstrom earned his first NHL victory in relief of Jose Theodore to lift the Florida Panthers past the New York Islanders 4-2 on Saturday night.
Florida’s victory came hours after the Panthers traded left wing David Booth, center Steve Reinprecht and a third-round pick in 2013 to the Vancouver Canucks for veteran forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm.
Kris Versteeg and Matt Bradley also scored for the Panthers. Shawn Matthias added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left, immediately after leaving the penalty box.
Mark Streit and John Tavares scored for New York, and Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves.
Markstrom stopped 18 shots after replacing Theodore during the first minute of in the third period when the game was tied 2-2. No reason was announced for the goaltending change. Theodore had made eight saves.
Kennedy gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead at 4:00 of the third period.
Matthias had the puck behind the Islanders net and fed Kennedy, who was skating in. Kennedy one-timed the puck past Nabokov for his first goal.
Markstrom stopped Michael Grabner on a breakaway at 8:03 of the third, and the Islanders failed to score with a two-man advantage for 43 seconds in the final two minutes.
Tavares’ team-leading sixth goal tied it at 2 during a power play at 14:32 of the second. A tripping penalty called on Jack Skille set up the goal.
Tavares won a faceoff in the left circle, and Streit grabbed the puck and skated backward toward the middle of the ice. Streit then fired a wrist shot that was deflected in by Tavares.
Bradley’s goal at 13:39 of the second gave Florida a 2-1 lead. Matthias made a nifty move from the right corner to get around defenseman Streit and then sent the puck toward the net. Bradley backhanded the puck past Nabokov.
Versteeg put a wrist shot past Nabokov at 14:39 of the first to tie it at 1 and give him four goals this season.
New York opened the scoring when Streit’s slap shot during a power play beat Theodore at 1:01 of the first.
Nabokov stopped Tomas Kopecky on a penalty shot at 2:39 of the first after Kopecky had been taken down by Andrew MacDonald on a breakaway.
NOTES: Florida had lost its two previous games 3-0, to Washington and Buffalo. … Panthers D Ed Jovanovski returned to the lineup after missing Thursday’s game because of a hip injury. … The Islanders are 0-9-1 in their last 10 visits to Florida. … The Panthers begin a three-game road trip at Montreal on Monday. … The Islanders will start a home-and-home set against Pittsburgh on Long Island on Tuesday.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)