Isles let lead slip away, beat Panthers in SO

Sunrise, FL ( – The New York Islanders gave up a goal, but
extended their winning streak.

Kyle Okposo scored the decisive shootout goal as the Islanders beat the
Florida Panthers 4-3 on Friday.

The second New York shooter, Okposo deked and slipped the puck past Roberto
Luongo. Jaroslav Halak then turned away bids from Jussi Jokinen and Brad Boyes
to secure the extra point.

John Tavares, Ryan Strome and Nikolay Kulemin scored for the Islanders, who
posted their fifth straight victory and tied a franchise record by winning 11
of their first 16 games.

Halak, coming off consecutive shutouts, finished with 35 saves.

The Panthers erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period on goals from Brian
Campbell and 2014 No. 1 draft pick Aaron Ekblad.

Luongo stopped 31 shots for Florida, which has dropped four of its last five

“We showed a lot of character being down two goals late and sticking with it,”
said Luongo. “It was a huge comeback for us but I have to find a way to make
saves in the shootout. It’s not acceptable to let in two there.”

Kulemin made it 3-1 when he knocked in a rebound at 3:57 of the third.

Campbell began the comeback with his first goal of the season. On a power
play, he beat Halak with a wrist shot from the left circle at 9:58.

“We played a pretty good game until they scored that second goal with 10
minutes left,” said Halak. “We gave them hope to come back and unfortunately
for us they did.”

Ekblad tied it with a slap shot from the right point with 2:35 remaining.

Florida defenseman Willie Mitchell went off for hooking 18 seconds later, but
the Islanders couldn’t put the puck past Luongo.

The Panthers had a power play for the final 1:03 of overtime.

Jimmy Hayes remained hot, scoring in his third consecutive game and snapping
the Islanders’ shutout streak. He went to the crease and chipped in Vincent
Trocheck’s no-look, backhand pass from behind the net at 12:37 of the first

It was the first goal surrendered by the Islanders in 193 minutes, 48 seconds.

Tavares drew New York even off a feed from Okposo at 6:51 of the second
period. Strome scored on a breakaway to give the Islanders the lead with 4:52
remaining in the second.

Game Notes

The Islanders went a team-record 199:14 without giving up a goal from March
31-April 8, 1998 … The Islanders also won 11 of their first 16 games in
1976-77, 1982-83, 1987-88 and 2001-02 … Trocheck and Jokinen both had two