The Upshot: NY Islanders come up just short in 3-2 loss to Panthers

New York Islanders v Florida Panthers
New York Islanders v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

2. 106. 3. 97. Final


The NY Islanders did not get off on the right foot on the road against the Florida Panthers to say the least. After the first puck was dropped, it did not take the Panthers long at all to get on the board and set the tone for the rest of the game, with Anton Lundell scoring 39 seconds into the contest. Eetu Loustarinen would score at 9:13 of the first to make it 2-0 after an unlucky puck hit Noah Dobson in the face, causing him to abandon the play in pain and Loustarinen scored before the referee could even think about blowing the whistle.

Loustarinen was the Panthers' leader in points this game, with a goal and assisting on the game-winner that came from Ryan Lomberg. Anders Lee would score both goals for the Islanders in the loss and nearly got a third to tie the game suddenly, but no goal was called as the puck went out of play and bounced back in.


Lee, our player to watch in our game preview has been arguably the Islanders' most consistent player all season, and that was no different against Florida. Lee scored two power play goals that came from redirections in front of the net that was catalyzed by Mat Barzal. Both goals started off with Barzal firing a shot right on goal for Spencer Knight to stop initially with Lee able to get the rebound in time to put the puck behind him. The second goal saw Barzal wind up and fire in the spot where a quarterbacking defenseman such as Ryan Pulock would be in the high slot, and the first goal saw him load up a shot at the top of the circle.

The Isles were able to triple their power play goal total on the season in this game alone, so that is a positive they can certainly take away from a loss. The penalty kill also remained perfect to start the season, still having yet to give up a goal and denying Florida in their four opportunities. Semyon Varlamov also played fine in his second start of the season, making 29 saves on 32 shots.


As stated before, the Islanders simply did not get off to a good start to this game after dropping the previous game to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They gave up a goal not even one minute into this game, and then dug themselves a hole that was hard to get out of early against a good team. For the first two periods, they failed to test Spencer Knight who was making his season debut. The Islanders would get outshot 15-8 in the first period and then 10-7 in the second period, so their chances were few and far between. They did not show urgency until the third period when they were able to get ten more shots, but after the phantom hat-trick goal by Lee was called off they didn't get any better chance to tie the game.

They certainly come hard, and they play a certain way. We played last night. We knew they were going to come hard and we, at times, struggled a little bit breaking pucks out so we spent a little bit more time in our zone than we want to do.
Lane Lambert after the game


  • According to Eric Hornick in The Skinny, this is the first time in Islanders history that they have not let up a power-play goal in their first six games. They have killed off 22 out of 22 penalties this season.
  • This was only the second time in Varlamov's tenure with the Isles that he let up a goal within the first minute of a game, the other coming from Jacob Bryson against the Buffalo Sabres late last season.
  • None of the Islanders' centers have scored a goal yet for the team this season. Brock Nelson and Barzal however are both tied for the team lead in assists with five each.
  • The Isles have allowed the opening goal in their last four games, in which their record is 1-3-0 during that stretch.


Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin would join Brendan Burke and Butch Goring in the broadcast booth shortly during the game, and he brought a few gifts for Brendan that just make you laugh. Appears that he finds humor in the chant that Rangers fans still like to say every game about a clean hit from over 40 years ago.


The Islanders will travel back to UBS Arena to take on the cross-town rival New York Rangers on Wednesday. Face-off is at 7:30 PM.