Final

Series (Game 4 of 4)

New York leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 28th
Panthers3Final
SO
Islanders4
Game 2: Saturday, November 18th
Islanders4Final
Panthers1
Game 3: Saturday, December 9th
Panthers4Final
SO
Islanders5
Game 4: Saturday, March 17th
Islanders5Final
Panthers8

Islanders 5

(34-27-10, 78 pts)

Panthers 8

(30-29-13, 73 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 17, 2007

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
NYI 3 0 25
FLA 3 1 48

O. Jokinen (Panthers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 4

M. Sillinger (Islanders - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

R. Olesz (Panthers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Belfour stops 28, Jokinen lifts Panthers over Isles

Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. -- It only took Olli Jokinen a minute to turn the game around.

Jokinen scored two third-period goals in 1:01 to help the Florida Panthers beat the New York Islanders 8-5 Saturday night. Jokinen also had four assists.

Elias Says
Olli Jokinen
Jokinen
The Islanders have lost the first three games of their current four-game road trip by scores of 5-3 (Tuesday at Montreal), 5-2 (Thursday at Ottawa) and 8-5 (Saturday at Florida). It's the first time that the Islanders have allowed five-or-more goals in each of three consecutive games since they did so in four straight games just over 11 years ago (Feb. 27-Mar. 3, 1996).

Olli Jokinen, who played one season for the Islanders (1999-2000), had two goals and three assists in Florida's 8-5 win over his old team on Saturday night. Jokinen was only the second former Islander to score five (or more) points in a game against the Isles. Defenseman Doug Crossman played two seasons with the Islanders (1989-90 to 1990-91) then had a six-point game against them for Tampa Bay on Nov. 7, 1992 (three goals, three assists).

•  Elias Says

Ville Peltonen also scored two goals for the Panthers, and Rostislav Olesz, Gregory Campbell, Juraj Kolnik and Jozef Stumpel had one apiece. Ed Belfour stopped 28 shots.

Mike Sillinger and Ryan Smyth scored two goals apiece, and Marc-Andre Bergeron added a score for New York. Mike Dunham had 27 saves for the Islanders in making his second consecutive start, both losses, in place of the injured Rick DiPietro. The Islanders have given up 18 goals in the past three games, all losses.

"We've been spoiled by having a premier goaltender," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "Before we were stopping most of those shots. Now, they're winding up in the back of the net."

Jokinen put Florida ahead 5-4 with a wraparound goal at 6:04 of the third. His second goal of the period came at 7:05 with a shot from the right circle that beat Dunham and gave Florida a 6-4 lead.

"We were able to bounce back every time they scored," Jokinen said. "I'd rather take a 2-1 win and play better defense. It was a wide-open game and both teams had a lot of chances. It's still two points."

Smyth's goal from in front at 17:02 pulled the Islanders to 6-5. Empty-net goals in the final minute by Stumpel and Peltonen made the score 8-5.

The Islanders tied the score at 4 during a power play when Bergeron's shot from above the right circle went over Belfour's right shoulder into the net at 5:16 of the third.

Kolnik gave Florida a 4-3 lead in the second. He picked up a rebound in front of the crease and pushed it past Dunham at 7:59.

There were six goals in the first period, three by each team.

Sillinger's second power-play goal of the game gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead at 16:56. Florida tied the game at 3 when Campbell's shot from the left circle went in at 17:31.

"Anytime you score five goals, it should be enough to win," Sillinger said. "Our entire defense has to be better. It hurts not having Rick (DiPietro) in there, but we have to buckle down defensively."

Florida tied the score at 2 on Peltonen's goal at 15:54. Peltonen skated in on Dunham and tucked the puck just inside the corner of the net.

Sillinger's power-play goal at 13:00 gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead. His shot from the left circle got by Belfour, who was out in front of the crease.

New York tied the score 1-all on Smyth's first goal at 10:50 of the first.

Florida scored 1:54 into the game. A shot by Jokinen hit the post and ricocheted out to the slot. Olesz picked up the loose puck and beat Dunham on the stick side to make the score 1-0.

"It was a hard-fought game but we battled hard and kept coming," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "We deserved to win."

Belfour made his 23rd consecutive start for Florida, breaking the franchise record set by Roberto Luongo, who is now with Vancouver.

Game notes


DiPietro missed his second straight start with a stiff neck. ... Dunham made his second start in goal since Feb.1. ... Belfour began his consecutive games streak on Jan. 20, and is 23-16-8 this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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