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New York Islanders Win 5th In A Row, Beat Florida Panthers 4-3 (SO)

kevincosgrove
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It was ugly late, but stellar goaltending saved the New York Islanders from coughing up 2 points to the Florida Panthers.  Jaroslav Halak was brilliant in net for the Isles as they saw their 3-1 third period lead evaporate after Aaron Ekblad scored his second of the year to tie it with 2:35 left in regulation.  The game would go to overtime where Halak made 9 saves in the 5 minute frame that included a Florida 4-on-3 power-play for just over a minute.  In the shootout Halak gave up the first goal to Jonathan Huberdeau but then stopped Jussi Jokinen and Brad Boyes to give the Isles the extra point and their fifth win in a row.  Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo scored in the shootout for the Isles.  Halak made the save of the night when he stopped Aleksander Barkov on the power-play late in the second.  Barkov streaked in and fired one that rolled up the arm of Halak and stopped on his shoulder. Halak pinned the puck between the crossbar and his shoulder, without the puck crossing the goal line, and held it there as the referee stopped play.  Check out the video below:

Florida did what any other team couldn’t in the last week; they scored a goal on the Islanders.

Jimmy Hayes

made it 1-0 at 12:37 of the first snapping a shutout streak of 193:48, the second longest shutout streak in New York’s history.  The Islanders were the better team in both the first and second periods, but didn’t have anything to show for it after the first.

John Tavares

fired home a one-timer which knotted the game at 1 off a superb pass from Okposo just over 13 minutes into the period for his 7th goal of the year.

Ryan Strome made it 2-1 Isles shortly after.  Strome took a breakout pass from Thomas Hickey at the center-ice line and streaked in on net, beating Roberto Luongo through the legs.

Nikolay Kulemin turned in a tremendous individual effort for the third goal of the game, and his third of the year, burying a rebound past Luongo while in mid-air.

Brian Campbell would give the Panthers life with just under 10 minutes left and that momentum carried throughout the rest of the period.  The Islanders never were able to generate much more on Luongo and a failed clearing attempt by Brock Nelson landed right on the tape of Ekblad who rifled a shot from the point off Halak’s glove into the net to tie the game.  It was a goal that Halak probably should’ve made the save on, but he didn’t let that affect the way he played in the overtime and shootout.

The Isles play tomorrow night in the first of a home-and-home against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see Chad Johnson get the start in goal to give Halak a rest.

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