Florida earned just their second win in their last 10 games tonight in their last ever visit to Nassau Coliseum, defeating the Fishermen, 4-2. They also earned their 42nd victory over the New York Islanders, third to the Tampa Bay Lightning (57) and the Washington Capitals (45).
The Islanders wouldn't take long to get out to a lead. Anders Lee scored his 14th marker of the season less than two minutes into the game, with assists to Josh Bailey and John Tavares. Unlike on most nights lately, the Panthers answered in short order, when Jimmy Hayes scored his 14th of the campaign to pull Florida even with less than five minutes gone. Nick Bjugstad and Jussi Jokinen assisted on the play. The rest of the period would play out without further developments to the bottom line.
The second would get to the halfway mark without a goal or a penalty to speak of. Erik Gudbranson lit the lamp for only the third time this season at the 10:15 mark, on a breakaway against Jaroslav Halak. Tomas Fleischmann and Brandon Pirri earned assists, but this one was all Guds. The Islanders evened it up again just 2 1/2 minutes later with Lee’s second marker of the night, helpers to Travis Harmonic and Nick Leddy.
Jimmy Hayes took a page from Lee's book, scoring his second of the game (and also 15th of the season) two minutes into the final frame. Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad assisted on the play. Brandon Pirri scored his eighth of the season (and fifth in six games) into an empty net with 23 seconds remaining for the final margin. Jonathan Huberdeau was awarded an assist.
Next up for the Panthers, the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. In the meantime, keep it locked down here for the AM recap, bright and early.