Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson both scored shootout goals as the Islanders extended their home winning streak to six games in a 2-1 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers.
Schremp continued to shine in the shootout, hesitating three times and throwing Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun off-guard, firing it over the Florida goaltender's glove hand. After Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson stopped Michael Frolik in the second round, Moulson iced the game getting a shot by Vokoun for the Islanders victory.
"I always want to be that guy that ends the game for the win," Moulson said. "It's probably one of the most exciting things in the game."
Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon sees the confidence growing in Moulson during the shootout.
"Whenever you score you're going to have more confidence," Gordon said. "It all kind of started by accident with (Jason) LaBarbera (in Phoenix). He was a teammate of his and at that point I figured 'Lets see what we can do.'"
The Islanders improved their home record to 14-8-2 on the season, and are 10-3-1 in their last 14 games.
"We've had great support from our fans all year here," Moulson said. "It's become one of the more exciting places to play in the NHL."
Both teams played a scoreless first period in a very tight-checking 20 minutes.
Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson made what was probably the best save of the period with just about eight minutes remaining. Jordan Leopold skated hard to the net and one-timed a centering pass towards the Islanders net. However, Roloson outstretched his left skate and just managed to get his toe on the puck to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard.
It was a frustrating opening period however for the Islanders.
"We had a frustrating first period," Gordon said. "Every deflected puck and blocked shot went onto their stick. We couldnt just get anything going."
Nathan Horton put Florida on the scoreboard first, 7:13 into the second period to give the Panthers a one-goal lead. Horton was the recipient of an impressive individual effort by Stephen Weiss to get the puck into the Islanders zone. After cutting in between the Islanders defense, Weiss dished the puck over to Horton, who skated in and roofed a shot over Roloson for his 17th goal of the season and the 1-0 lead.
Horton has been somewhat of an Islanders-killer since his entrance into the league six years ago. In his 21st game against the Islanders he has 12 goals and 11 assists.
Blake Comeau tied things up for the Islanders with 8:21 left in the second period with his sixth goal of the season. After receiving a pass around the half-boards from recent Bridgeport call-up Dustin Kohn, Comeau fired a slapshot that was laced for the top right hand corner behind Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun to even things up, 1-1.
Kohn, who was playing in his first NHL game, received an assist on the play for his first career NHL point.
Just a minute later, Vokoun was flashing some leather, denying Doug Weight from his first goal of the season. Weight took a pass from Richard Park and attempted to get a wrist shot past a sprawled Vokoun. However, the florida netminder stretched out his glove hand and kept the puck out of the net to keep the score tied.
However both goalies played strong after that and didn't allow any rubber behind them as both teams needed the extra frame to finish things off.
But the Islanders penalty killing was up to the task in the extra period. With Blake Comeau called for a slashing minor early in overtime, the trio of Frans Nielsen, Jack Hillen and Bruno Gervais, along with Roloson weathered a Florida storm, keeping the Panthers off the scoreboard and able to force a shootout.
"It was huge. They got a lot of great offensive guys, and they can move the puck well," Roloson said. "We were able to keep the guys to the outside for the most part of the penalty kill and it allowed me to see shots."
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Dwayne Roloson, NYI: 33 saves, plus two more in the shootout for the win. 2. Tomas Vokoun, FLA: 35 saves in a losing effort. 3. Blake Comeau, NYI: Sixth goal of the season.
Slapshots: Islanders outshot Florida, 36-34...Andrew MacDonald led all Islanders with 27:19 of ice time...Florida was 0-3 on the power play, while the Islanders were unsuccessful on one man advantage...Jeff Tambellini (healthy), Martin Biron (healthy), and Andy Sutton (suspension) were the Islanders scratches...This was the third meeting of the season between these two teams, with Florida taking the first two games...Islanders now have an all-time record of 28-32-9 against Florida.
Happy Birthday Captain!: Islanders captain Doug Weight celebrated his 39th birthday Thursday night. He logged 14:35 of ice time, with two shots on goal.