Anton Lundell took the puck away form Adam Pelech behind the Islanders net and put a sharp-angle shot off Semyon Varlamov’s blocker and in to give the Cats the lead 39 seconds into the game. It was Lundell’s first goal of the season.
Lundy really does it all pic.twitter.com/OCPICCBgKj— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 23, 2022
Eetu Luostarinen followed up at 9:13 to give the Panthers their second unassisted goal of the opening period. Luostarinen carried the puck over the blue line, and after having his initial shot blocked by Noah Dobson, pumped it by Varlamov from the slot.
Anders Lee notched his first of power-play two goals when he deflected a Mathew Barzal’s shot off of Spencer Knight’s body. Knight got all of it, but the puck bounced off his body and over the goal line 4:27 into the second. Dobson got the secondary assist on the marker, which came with Matt Kiersted serving a double minor for hi-sticking.
Ryan Lomberg restored Florida’s two-goal 2:56 into the third. After Varlamov made a stop on Kiersted’s long drive, Luostarinen and Colin White combined forces to knock the rebound out to the Lomberghini in the left circle and he parked the puck in the back of the net for his first of the campaign.
FIRE UP THE LOMBERGHINI ‼️ pic.twitter.com/9ZYooxyo6Z— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 23, 2022
With Josh Mahura and Luostarinen both serving time in the sin bin, Lee converted on the 5-on-3 opportunity to pull the Islanders within a goal. After playing catch with Brock Nelson, Barzal slapped a hard shot on goal that Knight denied. Unfortunately, Lee was there to poke the rebound in on his backhand.
Knight would stop New York’s final six shots on goal to keep the Cats ahead and collect his second win of the season.
The Panthers ground out another tight one to move to 4-1-1, which currently has them in second place in the Atlantic Division. That’s pretty impressive considering the club’s first line has: only scored twice (both Carter Verhaeghe), converted a meager two times on the power play, and their number one defenseman is on injured reverse. After backing up Bobrovsky’s run of three straight starts, Knight got back in the crease and delivered a quality performance, finishing with 26 saves on 28 shots. The Cats will hit the road for a pair, starting with tomorrow night’s game at United Center against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Flotsam & Jetsam
- Matthew Tkachuk saw his five-game scoring streak come to an end. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Tkachuk matched Mathew Barzal with a game-high five shots on goal. He also was credited with a hit and a block.
- The Panthers went 0 for 4 on the power play and haven’t scored with the man-advantage in four straight games. Yesterday’s outage is a little more understandable. The Islanders are a perfect 22 for 22 on the penalty kill this season.
- Florida’s play remained strong at 5 on 5 as the held the visitors to a paltry 14 at even strength.
- Every member of Florida defense corps finished with a plus-one rating. Brandon Montour had a fine outing, registering two shots, two hits and three blocks.
- Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 of 32 shots and took his first loss in his second start of the 2022-23 season.