The New York Islanders (23-24-8) fell to the Florida Panthers (27-17-11) in Sunday evening hockey action. On Marvel Day at Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, the Isles were unable to find a hero to save them from a sluggish second period of play.
Things started out well for the Islanders, who were rewarded early for their physical play by recording the first goal of the game. Frans Nielsen (10) found the back of the cage, on a wrister that floated past Florida keeper Jose Theodore at the 3:35 mark.
With his latest tally, Nielsen now has three goals in the last five games for the Islanders. New York continued to attack the Panthers cage, as Josh Bailey had a sweet move in the frame, but the shot by the center just pushed right of the Florida net.
Florida found an answer at the 14:57 mark when Tyson Strachan netted his first NHL goal on a slap shot at the 14:57 mark. The Islanders were able to get a penalty call to end the second period, but could not cash in.
It seemed from there the wind was taken out of the sails of the Islanders, as the Panthers struck for three unanswered goals in the second period, for the 4-1 lead. Helping to lead the Florida offense was the combination of Kris Versteeg (one goal, one assist) and Tomas Fleischmann (one goal, one assist).
The Islanders had plenty of offensive opportunities, but could not push any more past the pads of Florida cager Jose Theodore 26 saves. On the other end of the ice Isles keeper Evgeni Nabokov gave up three goals on six shots in the second-making 11 saves on 15 shots before being replaced by Al Montoya in the third.
Isles captain Mark Streit had his second night of strong hockey for New York, the blueliner helped to lead the team to the 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. The captain tried everything in his power to rejuvenate his teammates, leading the rush, shooting the puck and using his speed, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
New York will be on a two-game road trip, starting on Tuesday night in Winnipeg. The Isles/Jets game is scheduled to air on the MSG Plus 2 network, with face-off slated for 8:30 p.m.
Written on February 13, 2012
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