Barzal scores shootout winner, Islanders edge Panthers 5-4
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Without a word, Mathew Barzal made it clear to his coach that he wanted his first career chance in a shootout.
The 20-year-old rookie scored the winning goal in the tiebreaker to lift the New York Islanders over the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Monday night.
”He wouldn’t stop staring at me as I picked the first two guys (Jordan Eberle and John Tavares),” Islanders coach Doug Weight said. ”I wouldn’t look at him. Somehow, he thinks that’s why I picked him, because he was staring through me. He’s a confident kid and wanted to get out there.”
New York’s Anders Lee scored his 100th career goal. Tavares, Brock Nelson and Thomas Hickey also scored in regulation for the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves and stopped all three attempts in the shootout.
Barzal backhanded the puck past goalie James Reimer.
”Honestly, I didn’t even have a move coming into it,” Barzal said. ”I just was trying to read off him and got in tight there. It’s kind of a move I’ve done for a while and went to my backhand.”
Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo was injured when he stretched out his right leg to block a shot by Ryan Pulock at 17:29 of the second period. Luongo was helped off the ice by trainers and wasn’t able to put any weight on the leg. He did not return.
”He’s hobbling a bit,” coach Bob Boughner said. ”Lower body. He’s going to be looked at tomorrow by our doctors and get an MRI and see what happens.”
Luongo allowed one goal on 13 shots. Reimer replaced him and finished with 16 saves.
”Obviously, your first thought is you hope he’s (Luongo) going to get up and it’s just a minor tweak, but obviously that wasn’t the case,” Reimer said. ”We’re obviously hoping for the best for him, but at the same point you’re just trying to get yourself into the game and ready to go.”
Denis Malgin, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad scored for the Panthers. Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists, and Vincent Trocheck added three assists.
Malgin tied the score at 4 when he was left alone in front, took a pass from Trocheck from behind the net and poked in the puck at 5:06 of the third period.
After trailing 3-2, the Islanders scored two goals in about two minutes of the second. Nelson tied the score at 3 on his shot from the slot that went through Reimer’s legs with 3:41 left. Tavares put the Islanders ahead 4-3 with 1:39 left when he backhanded the puck between Reimer’s pads.
Barkov gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead on the power play when he took a shot from above the right circle that beat Halak at 10:34 of the second. Barkov has four goals in his past five games.
The Islanders took a 2-1 lead on Hickey’s goal when his wrist shot bounced past Reimer at 5:35 of the second.
The Panthers tied it 2-all on a power-play goal by Ekblad at 8:45 of the second. The Islanders had just killed off a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds and then Ekblad’s shot from the left circle got by Halak.
Yandle gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 10:25 of the first. He corralled a loose puck at the point and fired a wrist shot past Halak.
The Islanders tied it on Lee’s shot from in front that went through Luongo’s legs at 13:51 of the first.
NOTES: Panthers associate coach Jack Capuano faced the Islanders for the first time this season. Capuano coached New York from November 2010 until he was fired in January 2017. … Tavares passed Pat LaFontaine for sixth on the Islanders’ career list with 567 points. … Panthers forward Connor Brickley was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past four games. … Islanders C Casey Cizikas missed his third game with a lower-body injury.
Islanders: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Panthers: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
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