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Islanders fall to Panthers

Frans Nielsen's first period goal not enough to push Isles over the Cats

Sunday, 02.12.2012 / 5:45 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Islanders fall to Panthers
The New York Islanders dropped the second half of back-to-back games Sunday as they fell 4-1 to the Florida Panthers at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders could not carry over the momentum from Saturday’s emotional 2-1 overtime win against Los Angeles. After taking an early lead, the Panthers came back with four unanswered goals.

John Tavares races to win puck on Feb. 12, 2012
“These games are so important at this time of the year,” John Tavares said. “There’s no excuse for us not to be ready to play or have our feet moving or having our game going off the bat.”

Florida’s top-line of Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss were potent on Sunday afternoon, accounting for two of the teams four goals and a total of five points. Fleischmann scored the go-ahead game-winner and his 200th career point at 4:17 of the second period, a tic-tac-toe play in which all three touched the puck. Versteeg added a power play marker at 11:41 and Jack Skille scored off of a face-off to make it 4-1 at 18:33 of the second period.

“You give up two face-off goals and a power play goal and you’re not going to win many games,” Jack Capuano said. 

Frans Nielsen opened the scoring, netting the Islanders first shot of the game. Nielsen took a page out of Mark Streit’s playbook, splitting the Florida D before going high glove side on Jose Theodore.

“We got the opening goal we wanted,” Tavares said. “But then we weren’t playing our game there for a period and a half.”

The Panthers answered back before the end of the period, as Tyson Strachan scored his first goal of the season, a point-shot through traffic beating Evgeni Nabokov.

The Islanders goaltender had allowed five goals in his previous four starts, but surrendered four goals on 15 shots. It was hard to fault Nabokov on the second and third Panthers goals, but Al Montoya found himself in net for the start of the third period.

“It’s definitely not Nabby’s fault tonight,” Matt Martin said. “We didn’t play well enough in front of him.”

Theodore rebounded after surrendering his first shot, finishing the game with 26 saves and stuffing the Isles early third period charge. The Panthers are now 3-0 against the Islanders this season.

After wrapping up a three-game home stand, the Islanders go on the road for their next two games. The team travels to Winnipeg to play the Jets on Tuesday before a date with the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday. Tuesday’s puck drop at the MTS Centre goes at 8:30 p.m.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
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 6 159 148 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 53 19 25 9 122 149 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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