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Islanders News: Heading home happy

Aside from one brief lead in the first period, the Islanders never relinquished their grip on the scoreboard against the Panthers.

New York Islanders v Florida Panthers
He was pumped. And he said later that he didn’t mean for it to be so big; that means it just came naturally.
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

That was huge. That was huge both in the standings and for their confidence. The New York Islanders went on the road to play the Florida Panthers, who have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. And all they did was walk away with a regulation win.

But here’s the best part: They never really coughed up the lead. Yes, they did go up 1-0 in the first period only to let Florida tie it a minute later, but that was the first period. They regained the lead in the second and never gave it back.

In fact, they even invoked one of the hallmarks of their recent franchise success, bend don’t break. They had multiple two-goal cushions, both of which Florida cut into, but they never let them tie it again. Now, if they could just find a way to hit the empty net so that we can tick off the final seconds without as much stretch.

I can’t complain, though. A road trip that had the potential to be 0-3-0 instead ended 2-1-0 and honestly could have been even better had they nailed down at least a point against the New Jersey Devils. No matter, we cannot change the past. We can only move forward.

Next, the Islanders head home for a season-high six-game homestand spread over a week and a half, and they do so sitting in a playoff spot.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • Julien Gauthier’s first goal as an Islander turned out to be the game-winner. And they held onto the leads! [LHH]
  • The Panthers, like the Hurricanes, love to fire pucks. Ilya Sorokin was up to the task, making 43 saves, including some beauties. [Newsday]
  • Oh yeah, they did it without the star of the last game too. [3 Takeaways] Mathew Barzal, who did not partake in the morning skate, missed the game with an illness. [Isles DTD]
  • With Barzal out, Hudson Fasching drew back into the lineup for the first time in a week, finally playing game no. 100 for his career, a remarkable feat for him. Also, Brock Nelson left late in the second after crashing into the goalpost, but he thankfully returned in the third. [Newsday]
  • Nelson and Bo Horvat each recorded two assists. Horvat has been fantastic; he’s really fitting in now as we approach a year of him being here. [NY Post]
  • They’re now 5-1-1 in their last seven and have points in eight of their last nine games. With everything that has gone on with this team of late, it’s remarkable that they have been racking up the points to get them back into a playoff spot. [NYI Skinny]
  • Sorokin has been facing even more shots than he did last year, which has led to a decline in his stats. It’s hard to call those declines his fault when you consider how many pucks are hitting him. [amNY]
  • Stan Fischler says that the flight home is always better when you win the game before it, especially if the whole trip was successful. [THN]
  • Stan also recounts his relationship with the inaugural captain and later broadcaster, Eddie Westfall. [Maven’s Memories]


Yesterday’s NHL scores include the Dallas Stars thumping the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-1, and the Carolina Hurricanes taking it to the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2.

  • The Montreal Canadiens lost Alex Newhook for 10-12 weeks with a high ankle sprain. [NHL]
  • Nikita Zadorov set up the game-winning goal and steadied the defense in his first game for the Vancouver Canucks, which just so happened to be on the road against the team they just got him from, the Calgary Flames. [Sportsnet]