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Islanders stave off Panthers behind Ilya Sorokin’s 43 saves

Dec 2, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers goaltender Anthony Stolarz (41) blocks the shot of New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) during the second period at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ilya Sorokin made 43 saves as the New York Islanders defeated the host Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.

It was the second consecutive win for the Islanders, who got goals from Anders Lee, Pierre Engvall, Simon Holmstrom and Julien Gauthier. Bo Horvat added two assists.

Sam Reinhart, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe scored for the Panthers, and backup goalie Anthony Stolarz made 22 saves.

Mathew Barzal, who leads the Islanders in points (23), sat out the game due to illness.

The Islanders opened the scoring just seven seconds into its first power-play chance of the game. Lee scored at 12:36 after Horvat won a faceoff. Kyle Palmieri, with his back to the goal, whipped a no-look pass to Lee, who shoved the puck between Stolarz’s legs from point-blank range.

Florida scored 66 seconds later as Brandon Montour made the no-look pass to Evan Rodrigues, who actually fanned on the shot. But Reinhart, hustling all the way, got the goal as he was in behind Sorokin.

The Panthers nearly took the lead on its power play. With 3:35 left in the first, Tkachuk slipped a cross-ice pass to Rodrigues, whose wide-open shot from the top of blue paint hit the right post. Rodrigues’ rebound try was stopped by Sorokin.

New York took a 2-1 lead at 4:37 of the second as Engvall slapped home a rebound of a shot by Alexander Romanov.

The Islanders extended their advantage to 3-1 with 10:48 remaining in the second. This time, it was Holmstrom who shoved home a rebound off a Gauthier shot.

Florida cut its deficit to 3-2 on Tkachuk’s ripped shot from the right circle. Verhaeghe got the primary assist, retrieving the puck from the right corner before Tkachuk beat Sorokin to the far side.

New York took a 4-2 lead with 16:17 left in the third as Horvat won a draw, and Gauthier immediately fired a high shot from the right circle, beating Stolarz’s glove. It was Gauthier’s first goal with the Islanders.

Florida cut its deficit to 4-3 on Verhaeghe’s rebound goal with 10:24 left. Gustav Forsling earned the primary assist for his shot from the point.

–Field Level Media

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