NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Florida
(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: Florida 2, NY Islanders 0
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Tomas Vokoun stopped all 31 shots faced for his 26th career shutout as the Florida Panthers defeated the New York Islanders, 2-0, at BankAtlantic Center.
Entering the contest, Vokoun had struggled in the early going this season, allowing 11 goals in the first three games. He improved to 8-2-0 in 10 career starts against the Islanders.
Nick Boynton and Cory Stillman each scored for the Panthers, who have won two of their last three games.
Rick DiPietro, who was making his first start of the 2008-09 campaign after missing the first four games while recovering from hip surgery, was solid between the pipes for the Islanders, stopping 34-of-36 shots. The Islanders have dropped two of their last three.
The Panthers wasted little time getting on the board as Boynton lit the lamp 24 seconds into the opening period. Keith Ballard's shot off a left circle faceoff hit the crossbar, but the puck ricocheted to Boynton, who fired a slap shot past DiPietro to give the home team the early edge.
"It's tough. A guy makes a good shot, good screen in front and the puck goes right to the defenseman's tape," DiPietro said about Boynton's goal. "It's tough for the whole team but I thought we bounced back well. It was a close game. It could have went either way."
Florida had three power-play opportunities in the first but were unable to capitalize and the score remained 1-0 heading into the first intermission.
With Freddy Meyer serving a tripping minor for the Islanders 7:43 into the second, the Panthers went back to the man advantage. Nathan Horton, from the middle slot, got the puck over to Stillman at the right circle and the veteran left winger ripped a wrist shot high over DiPietro to put Florida up by two.
Both teams tightened up on the defensive ends of the ice and limited each other's chances for the rest of the second and into the third period.
"I know last year was a struggle when we were up goals, we would let teams right back in the game and sometimes lose games when we were up," Panthers left wing David Booth said. "So that's something we got to build on this year. When we're up by a goal or two, just bury teams."
The Islanders pulled DiPietro with 1:29 left in regulation in favor of the extra attacker but couldn't sustain any offensive pressure and Florida held on for the 2-0 victory.
The Islanders were without defenseman Radek Martinek, who was out with an upper body injury...The Panthers have won four in a row at home versus the Islanders...New York will host Dallas on Thursday night, while Florida plays at Montreal on Monday...The Panthers finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Islanders were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
10/18 23:18:55 ET