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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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