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Florida
Panthers
29-45-8
New York
Islanders
34-37-11

34 SOG
38 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
FLA
NYI
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game recap

Panthers 5, Islanders 3

Sunday, 03.02.2014 / 6:54 PM

Cory Wright

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Panthers 5, Islanders 3
Florida Panthers 5, New York Islanders 3
Three Stars of the Game
Shawn Matthias
1st
Shawn Matthias
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 3TOI: 12:09
Scottie Upshall
2nd
Scottie Upshall
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:23
Thomas Vanek
3rd
Thomas Vanek
LW
G: 2Shots: 7
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 21:26

Despite a three-point game from Thomas Vanek, the Islanders could not hold a third-period lead, falling 5-3 to the Florida Panthers Sunday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.

Vanek scored twice in the opening frame and assisted on Ryan Strome’s second-period goal, but the Islanders 3-1 lead evaporated as the Panthers scored four goals in the final 20 minutes.

“It’s frustrating,” Vanek said. “I thought we played a good game. We got the lead and we were working hard. We had a lot of chances to make it 4-1 and 5-1… If you don’t bury a team they’ll get back in it.”

The 3-1 lead vanished in a 1:02 span, as Marcel Goc and Shawn Matthias beat goalie Anders Nilsson to tie the score at three. Goc scored on a long wrister that deflected off Matt Carkner’s leg and under the crossbar, while Matthias got behind Andrew MacDonald in close and beat Nilsson one-on-one. Scottie Upshall scored the Panthers next two goals; he and Matthias each finished the game with two goals and an assist.

“The way that we are losing is frustrating to me because it isn’t a structural problem or a systematic function of what we are doing,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We mismanaged the puck.”

The conclusion hardly reflected the rock ‘em, sock ‘em, fiery first period from the Islanders, which saw 22 combined penalty minutes in the first three minutes and a 2-0 Islanders lead shortly after.

Vanek scored twice in 58 seconds, beating Tim Thomas cleanly to the top corner for his first and deflecting a Lubomir Visnovsky shot on the power play for his second. The goals were Vanek’s 20th and 21st of the season, cementing his ninth straight campaign with at least 20.

Armed with a 2-0 lead, the Islanders went on a two-minute, five-on-three power play, but were unable to add to their lead.

“I thought we had some good looks, but also some looks that we passed up,” Capuano said.

Matthias knocked in a Jonathan Huberdeau rebound to put the Panthers on the board late in the second period, but Strome answered for the Islanders 59 seconds later. The Islanders rookie was in good position at the top of the crease and slid his second-career goal under Tim Thomas with 46 seconds to play in the second period.

“We had chances and you have to bury,” Strome said. “If you don’t put teams away, they will come back and haunt you.”

Nilsson finished the game with 29 saves, while Thomas made 35 in the win.

The Islanders now embark on a four-game Western Canadian road trip, starting in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. Puck drop is at 8 p.m. eastern time.

NOTES: Frans Nielsen returned to the lineup after missing two games with a broken hand… Travis Hamonic missed Sunday’s game while serving a one-game suspension… Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders with 25:56 TOI… Thomas Vanek had a team-high seven shots.

scoring summary
1st Period
06:41
NYI
Thomas Vanek (20) ASST: Cal Clutterbuck (5), Calvin de Haan (10)
1 - 0 NYI
07:39
NYI
PPG - Thomas Vanek (21) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (4), Brock Nelson (10)
2 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
18:15
FLA
Shawn Matthias (8) ASST: Scottie Upshall (18)
2 - 1 NYI
19:14
NYI
Ryan Strome (2) ASST: Thomas Vanek (32), Kyle Okposo (36)
3 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
03:16
FLA
Marcel Goc (11) ASST: Jonathan Huberdeau (15), Tom Gilbert (24)
3 - 2 NYI
04:18
FLA
Shawn Matthias (9) ASST: Jimmy Hayes (2), Jonathan Huberdeau (16)
3 - 3 Tie
10:31
FLA
Scottie Upshall (11) ASST: Shawn Matthias (7), Brian Campbell (22)
4 - 3 FLA
15:26
FLA
PPG - Jimmy Hayes (5) ASST: Scottie Upshall (19), Dylan Olsen (8)
5 - 3 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
02:25
NYI
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Krys Barch
02:25
FLA
Krys Barch  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
02:33
NYI
Matt Carkner  Roughing against  Shawn Matthias
02:33
NYI
Brian Strait  Roughing against  Dmitry Kulikov
02:33
NYI
Brian Strait  Hi-sticking against  Jonathan Huberdeau
02:33
FLA
Shawn Matthias  Roughing against  Matt Carkner
02:33
FLA
Jonathan Huberdeau  Roughing against  Brian Strait
02:33
FLA
Jonathan Huberdeau  Tripping against  Brian Strait
06:53
FLA
Dmitry Kulikov  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
09:28
FLA
Jesse Winchester  Roughing against  Cal Clutterbuck
09:28
FLA
Erik Gudbranson  Cross checking against  Cal Clutterbuck
12:18
NYI
Colin McDonald  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Erik Gudbranson
12:18
FLA
Erik Gudbranson  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Colin McDonald
12:18
NYI
Casey Cizikas  Holding against  Tom Gilbert
2nd Period
01:50
NYI
Matt Carkner  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
02:29
FLA
Jonathan Huberdeau  Roughing against  Cal Clutterbuck
02:29
NYI
Cal Clutterbuck  Roughing against  Jonathan Huberdeau
04:38
FLA
Erik Gudbranson  Tripping against  Kyle Okposo
14:23
FLA
Sean Bergenheim  Hooking against  Frans Nielsen
3rd Period
00:18
FLA
Sean Bergenheim  Interference against  Brian Strait
14:13
NYI
Matt Carkner  Holding against  Marcel Goc
15:26
NYI
Casey Cizikas  Slashing against  Scottie Upshall
19:27
NYI
Kyle Okposo  Roughing against  Dmitry Kulikov
19:27
FLA
Dmitry Kulikov  Roughing against  Kyle Okposo
goalie stats
Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas
16-19-3
SA: 38TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 13
SV%: .921SH: 2 - 2
Anders Nilsson
SA: 34TOI: 58:41
Saves: 29EV: 22 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .853SH: 0 - 0
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