New York Islanders edge Florida Panthers in shootout 5-4 (Highlights)
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Another high-scoring affair saw the New York Islanders emerge victorious when Mat Barzal scored the lone goal in the shootout.

The defense still needs some tweaks, but the New York Islanders continue to use their league-best offense to get the job done against the Florida Panthers.

A back-and-forth game swung in the Islanders favor when it was all said and done, and the Islanders are able to take two points back from the BB&T Center. Mathew Barzal scored the shootout winner (the only shootout goal) and Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves.

Recap

The Islanders fell behind after Keith Yandle’s shot had eyes for the top-right corner and it was up to Anders Lee to ‘give ’em hell’ and tie the game at 1-1.

A proper congratulation is in order for Lee, it’s his 100th career goal and his fourth consecutive goal in as many games.

During the game, a Ryan Pulock shot seemed to cause goaltender Roberto Luongo discomfort as he immediately fell to the ice and did not get up. All the best to him and a speedy recovery, James Reimer would enter the game 2:31 into the 2nd period.

Hickey was able to put the Islanders ahead to rudely welcome Reimer into the game.

Head Coach Doug Weight exchanged some tense words with the officials, as the Islanders would head to a 5 on 3 that was killed…

…and Ekblad would knot it on the powerplay immediately after the aforementioned expired penalty.

The Cats went on to take the lead after Barkov scored a powerplay goal of his own, but Nelson would ensure that it wouldn’t last.

The captain, with a little help from elite winger Josh Bailey, would ensure that the Islanders took a 4-3 lead into the locker room once the horn rang.

The Panthers would go on to tie the game, and a shootout was needed to decide it in Sunrise. Cue Barzal’s first NHL shootout attempt:

His slick backhander gave Islanders fans shades of Frans Nielsen magic, and it was the lone shootout goal tonight to cap off the second point for the Isles.

Takeaways

The Islanders continued to play loosely overall, and once again were bailed out by their defense. The pace of the game was an overall mess, with teams trading chances back-and-forth throughout with not much of a 200-foot consideration. Obviously, that has to change very soon, but the ability to fight back from seemingly any lead is an important mindset to be able to carry on deeper into the season.

Halak was sharp, despite the score providing a different insight. His 39 saves were clutch, and Jaro should be feeling good about tonight’s effort. With the Tampa Bay Lightning up next, Thomas Greiss gets the nod, but it will remain to be seen for how long. Weight said that both goalies will be playing a lot, and it should be a competitive battle in net.

With tonight’s win, Weight is the fastest coach in Islander history to achieve 40 wins with a team.

The Islanders will return to action against the Lightning, coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on MSG + 2.

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