Tuesday night, the New York Islanders concluded their final home game of the regular season with a 5-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers. The game marked as “Fan Appreciation Night” was a season finale of sorts for 15,922 fans who were on hand at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and yearning for a playoff berth to return to Long Island for the first time since 2007, and they were not let down.
The New York Islanders offense scored 5 goals in 23 minutes, on the shoulders of Michael Grabner (2), Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Radek Martinek. The Islanders offensive prowess ultimately caused the Florida Panthers to pull their starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom in the 2nd period (after stopping only 13 of 18 shots on net) in favor of veteran goaltender Scott Clemmensen. Even though, both Dmitry Kulikov and Marcel Goc managed to score for the Panthers, and Florida Goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped all 13 shots he faced in relief, Florida still could not overcome their early deficit to the New York Islanders and as a result suffered its third straight loss, dropping to 13-23-6 (32 pts) last place in the league.
Following the game, the New York Islanders advanced to 22-16-5 (49pts) and maintain sole possession of 2nd place in the Atlantic Division and 7th place in the Eastern Conference. After celebrating their win over Florida Panthers, the New York Islanders skated to center ice and saluted their fans, Islanders Captain Mark Streit grabbed a microphone and addressed Islanders faithful in the building thanking them for their support throughout the season and saying “We want playoffs too”. The New York Islanders will hope to continue their success in Toronto on Thursday when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Rogers Arena.
The 3 stars of the game were:
1: Michael Grabner
2: Matt Moulson
3: Evgeni Nabokov
Winning Goaltender: Evgeni Nabokov
Losing Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom
Brandon Titus photographed the game for Inside Hockey.