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Islanders 4, Panthers 3 (SO)

Rick DiPietro returned from injury, Michael Grabner scored his 30th goal of the season and the Islanders stole a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night

Saturday, 03.19.2011 / 11:12 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Islanders 4, Panthers 3 (SO)
Goaltender Rick DiPietro returned to the New York Islanders lineup in top form for his first start since suffering facial fractures from a Brent Johnson punch on Feb. 11. His 29 saves between regulation and overtime and two stops in the shootout, lifted the Islanders to a 4-3 shootout win over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

“A big emotional win like that gets the boys together,” forward PA Parenteau said.

It was unquestionably emotional. After an overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes the night before, the team really rallied for each other. In the shootout, the Islanders bench showed support for DiPietro, Parenteau and Frans Nielsen by turning their helmets around.

The rally caps seemed to work as DiPietro made two saves, stopping both Mike Santorelli and Sergei Samsonov, while Nielsen scored five-hole on Scott Clemmensen to give the Isles a 1-0 lead. Parenteau solidified the win with a shot that went top shelf.

PA Parenteau #15 of the New York Islanders shoots and scores the winning goal in a shoot out against Goaltender Scott Clemmensen #30 of the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center on March 19, 2011 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nielsen opted not to use his patented move to instead shoot five-hole, but Parenteau said variety is a good thing.

“You have to get a couple moves because the goalies around the league are going to start knowing (what you’re going to bring),” Parenteau said. “I’ve got one go-to move, so I’m going to have to find another one soon enough. It’s a big win for the team. A big goal from Fransie and I got to go for the winner.”

If it wasn’t for DiPietro’s performance, the game could have ended in overtime. With 29.9 seconds left on the clock, David Booth drew a penalty shot after he was hooked by Andrew MacDonald. But DiPietro maintained his positioning and Booth’s shot went wide.

“I think he played really well,” Parenteau said about DiPietro’s play. “He made some good saves with the puck. He hasn’t played for a while, so he showed a lot of character tonight. Everyone likes him in this locker room, so we’re happy for him to get the win.”

The game started off on the right foot. After a scoreless first period, the Nielsen and Michael Grabner duo earned another shorthanded tally. Along the boards, Nielsen found Grabner rushing into the high slot from the neutral zone, giving the Isles rookie a clear view of the net at 5:14; the goal lifted Grabner to the 30 goal milestone.

Micheal Haley #59 of the New York Islanders celebrates a goal with teammate Zenon Konopka #28 against the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center on March 19, 2011 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
“It’s nice not to have to worry about it (the milestone) too much. Hopefully now I can relax a little," Grabner told Katie Strang of Newsday. “It was a great pass from (Nielsen). He’s a play-maker. It’s easy to play with him.”

The goal could potentially hold more weight for Grabner, since he started the season with the Panthers franchise and was later traded to the Islanders after having a poor showing at training camp.

“(It’s) nice to get it here, obviously,” Grabner told Newsday. “But at the same time, I’m just trying to help the team and it doesn’t matter who I score the goals against.”

Before closing the second period, Evgeny Dadonov scored twice to send the Panthers ahead 2-1. But at 7:09 of the third period, Parenteau collected a rebound from Clemmensen and tied the score at two.

Then, with a full length rush from the defensive zone, Micheal Haley reclaimed the Islanders lead as he shot a puck five-hole at 9:50. It wasn’t enough to steal the win; Stephen Weiss tied the score at 13:26.

The Islanders have now earned three out of a possible four points on their three-game road trip down south. Thus, the team hopes to earn two more points with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Islanders lineups:
Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 15 PA Parenteau
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
57 Blake Comeau - 12 Josh Bailey - 58 Jesse Joensuu
17 Matt Martin - 28 Zenon Konopka - 59 Micheal Haley

Defensemen
47 Andrew MacDonald - 36 Travis Hamonic
24 Radek Martinek - 38 Jack Hillen
27 Milan Jurcina - 8 Bruno Gervais

Goaltenders
39 Rick DiPietro
35 Al Montoya

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 153 146 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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