EditorsNote: Minor tweaks throughout; Reworked 4th graf
Thomas Greiss stopped 32 shots as the New York Islanders defeated the host Florida Panthers 3-1 on Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla.
Devon Toews and Mathew Barzal scored power-play goals for the Islanders, and Anders Lee added an empty-netter with three seconds left. Jordan Eberle added two assists, his first such game since Oct. 11.
New York went 2-for-4 on its power play. The Panthers went 0-for-3, and their failure with the man advantage midway through the third period helped seal their fate.
Greiss, who robbed Brett Connolly with 3:55 left in the third, broke his personal two-game losing streak and beat the Panthers for the second time this season. He also defeated them 2-1 on Nov. 9.
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky had 27 saves as Florida fell to 3-3-0 during this nine-game homestand, the longest in franchise history.
Mike Hoffman scored Florida's goal, his 12th of the season. He has a four-game point streak, with two goals and three assists during that span.
New York opened the scoring on a power-play goal with just 49 seconds elapsed in the second period.
The power play started at the end of the first, when Florida's Frank Vatrano was called for tripping Toews. Then, thanks to an effective Lee screen, Toews' long shot from the point made it past Bobrovsky. Eberle also earned an assist.
Florida got in trouble with another penalty -- this time Panthers center Vincent Trocheck caught holding Anthony Beauvillier -- and New York's power play converted again. Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar tried to pass the puck out of his own zone, but Eberle intercepted and fed to Barzal, who scored on the open left side of the net with 4:40 expired in the second. Weegar cracked his stick on top of the Panthers crossbar in disgust.
Florida cut its deficit to 2-1 with 9:36 gone in the second. Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk, playing his first game since Dec. 3 after picking up several healthy scratches, jumped up to create a two-on-one opportunity. Pysyk then passed to Hoffman, who fired a high shot from the left circle, beating Greiss stick-side.
--Field Level Media