National Hockey League
- Barclays Center PUCK DROP -
Florida Panthers
ML: FLA +122
NY Islanders Islanders
ML: NYI -135
Goalie Performance
Roberto Luongo
#1 G Roberto Luongo
Thomas Greiss
#1 G Thomas Greiss
0.967 SV% 29 SV
0.917 SV% 22 SV
Scoring Leaders
Keith Yandle
#3 D Keith Yandle Goals Assists 1 0
Jason Demers
#55 D Jason Demers Goals Assists 1 0
Jussi Jokinen
#36 LW Jussi Jokinen Goals Assists 0 1
Nick Leddy
#2 D Nick Leddy Goals Assists 1 0
Cal Clutterbuck
#15 RW Cal Clutterbuck Goals Assists 0 1
Casey Cizikas
#53 C Casey Cizikas Goals Assists 0 1

NEW YORK -- Florida goalie Roberto Luongo acknowledged it felt a little odd walking into Barclays Center on Wednesday morning for the first time since last April 24, when the Panthers' season ended with a double-overtime loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Luongo definitely enjoyed his walk out of the arena more on Wednesday -- when he stopped 29 shots to lead the Panthers to a 2-1 win over the Islanders -- than he did 262 days earlier.

"Roberto was excellent," Panthers coach Tom Rowe said. "I thought early in the game he didn't get a whole lot of work, but then as the game went on, the Islanders got going, especially (in) the third period."

And this time, Luongo ensured his impressive work in the first two periods would not go for naught. Luongo made 49 saves in Game 6 -- the fourth-most saves he ever recorded in a playoff game -- but was saddled with the defeat in the Panthers' 2-1 loss after he gave up a goal to John Tavares in the final minute of regulation and Tavares' game-winner midway through the second overtime.

On Wednesday, Luongo almost single-handedly preserved a one-goal advantage in the third period, when the Panthers were outshot 12-1. Florida defenseman Jason Demers scored the game's final goal 1:09 into the second period.

The Islanders were especially frantic over the final 10 minutes, a stretch that began with Tavares trying to wrap the puck around the net, just as he did for the series-deciding goal last spring.

"When you get up a goal, you're fighting off (the other team), you kind of tend to fall back on your heels a little bit," said Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle, who scored Florida's first goal 5:47 into the first. "But 'Lu' is amazing, and not only the third, the whole game, making huge saves for us. He's been amazing all year."

Luongo turned back four shots -- a breakaway by Cal Clutterbuck and three straight put-back attempts by Casey Cizikas -- to keep the game tied 1-1 in the first. He basically repeated that effort with a little more than six minutes left in the third, when Cizikas made three attempts to jam home the puck on the doorstep as Luongo lay on his stomach on the ice.

At the end of the exchange, Cizikas fell on Luongo, who lunged at Cizikas as players from both sides converged on the scrum. Luongo and Cizikas each earned two-minute penalties for roughing, though Luongo's was served by Jaromir Jagr.

That proved to be the final serious threat for the Islanders as Luongo, who moved past Terry Sawchuk into fifth place on the NHL's all-time win list on Monday, earned the 449th victory of his career.

"I thought we had a few chances late," said Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy, who scored New York's lone goal in the second period, "but Luongo was good."

Afterward, Luongo shrugged off the possibility that Wednesday's win might have been more meaningful because it came against the Islanders at Barclays Center.

"We've got other problems that we're worrying about right now," Luongo said of the Panthers, "so we're obviously focused on winning games. Played these guys a little bit earlier in the season (in Florida). A little bit weird walking into the rink this morning, that's for sure."

The second consecutive victory by the Panthers (19-16-8) snapped a six-game stretch in which they alternated wins with losses. It was the fourth straight win for Florida in which it scored three goals or fewer.

"We have to realize that sometimes you're going to have to win games ugly," Luongo said.

The reeling Islanders (15-16-8), who reached the second round of the playoffs last spring for the first time since 1993, would gladly take an ugly win at this point. Thomas Greiss made 22 saves for New York, which has lost three straight (0-1-2), all by 2-1 scores.

"We seem to have spurts where we're able to put the puck in the net and we seem to have times where we just don't score as many goals," Tavares said of the Islanders, who scored 23 goals in winning four of their final five games in December. "I wish I had the answer."

NOTES: Longtime Islanders television announcer Jiggs McDonald, who was behind the microphone for the last three of New York's four straight Stanley Cups in the early '80s, dropped the ceremonial puck before broadcasting the game for MSG Networks. ... The Islanders scratched D Travis Hamonic (lower body), who is day-to-day with an injury suffered Saturday night, as well as LW Anthony Beauvillier and RW Stephen Gionta. ... The Panthers scratched D Greg McKegg (upper body) as well as D Dylan McIlrath. Florida head coach Tom Rowe said he expected McKegg to play Friday, when the Panthers host the Islanders. ... Islanders C John Tavares and Panthers C Vincent Trocheck each played for the first time since being selected to appear in the NHL All-Star Game, scheduled for Jan. 29.
Top Game Performances
Florida   NY Islanders
Jason Demers 1 Points Nick Leddy 1
Jason Demers 1 Goals Nick Leddy 1
Jussi Jokinen 1 Assists Casey Cizikas 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Roberto Luongo .967 Save Percentage Thomas Greiss .917
Roberto Luongo 29 Saves Thomas Greiss 22
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 24 2 0-1 0-0 2 23
NY Islanders 30 1 0-0 1-1 4 31
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against Florida. The Islanders have a W/L % of .400 after a win and .375 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game at home against NY Islanders. The Panthers have a W/L % of .316 after a win and .542 after a loss.