The Florida Panthers finished a three-game homestand as they came back from two goals down to defeat the New York Islanders 3-2 in overtime at BB&T Center on Saturday night. It was a rematch of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series played last season between both clubs played in which the Islanders won in six games.
The Panthers play their next four games on the road and ten of their 12 games away from Sunrise. The Islanders remained winless on the road this season with a 0-4-1 record.
New York(5-7-3) waited until 22 seconds left in the first period to get the lead. Calvin de Haan took a slapshot from the high slot that banked off the back glass wall. Brock Nelson was in the low right circle and put in a wrist shot out of the reach of Roberto Luongo.
The Islanders extended their margin on their second power play of the contest to 2-0 at 9:54 of the second period. Nick Leddy fired a slapshot from the top of the zone which popped up in the air from Luongo's body, over his head and off his back left skate for a goal.
Doug Rau collected his first NHL goal at 8:56 of the third period to help Florida(7-7-1) pull to within one goal. Michael Matheson snapped a shot from the left point which passed through traffic in front. Rau made two shots from the left of the crease that the second of which got by Jaroslav Halak.
The Panthers pulled the goalie to get an extra attacker on the ice for the final 90 seconds of regulation time. Aleksander Barkov passed the puck from the side of the Islanders cage to the right circle. Jonathan Marchessault held on to the puck in the top right circle, delayed for second and then released the puck where it trickled between the legs of Halak and barely across the goal line with 14 second remaining.
The Cats broke the tie with 46 seconds to go in the overtime period. Vincent Trocheck snapped a shot from the high slot and it was deflected by Denis Malgin in the low slot for the game-winning goal.