UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders fired 53 shots at Florida Panthers goalie Craig Anderson, including a franchise-high 29 in the second period.
Anderson stopped them all.
The backup goalie earned his first shutout of the season and made David Booth’s first period goal stand up for the Florida Panthers in 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday.
“A lot went untold there,” Anderson said after being saluted by his teammates with a Superman-style cape and a shaving cream pie-in-the-face. “A lot of guys were blocking shots, a lot of guys were collapsing, putting their faces on the line.
“Most of the shots were from the outside. They did a good job of clogging up the middle and allowing me to see the puck. A lot of times, I got point shots that hit me in the chest.”
Anderson won for the fourth time this season and second time against New York. The win was just the third for the Panthers in their last 11 games (3-5-3). It was his third career shutout.
Wade Dubielewicz filled in admirably for Islanders starting goalie Rick DiPietro and stopped 29 shots. New York has lost four of its last five after a six-game winning streak.
Dubielewicz got the start because DiPietro left after Saturday’s game to attend services for his grandmother, who died earlier in the week. Dubielewicz made his first start since Jan. 3.
Booth scored his 19th goal midway through the opening period.
Dubielewicz tipped Olli Jokinen’s centring pass, and the puck shot to Booth in the low slot. His one-timer made it in on the stick side.
“I was just around the net,” Booth said. “That’s where I’ll score goals.”
Dubielewicz said he was trying to stop one opportunity when Booth’s chance occurred.
“I tried to keep the puck from going back-door,” Dubielewicz said, “and it hit the paddle of my stick and shot straight out.”
The Panthers played in their 40th one-goal game on Sunday, upping their record to 18-14-8 in those contests.
The Islanders set a team record in the scoreless second period by firing 29 shots at Anderson. New York’s best chances came when Mike Comrie fired a turnaround wrist shot that hit the right post at 3:28, and when Anderson flashed his left pad to rob Ruslan Fedotenko of a sure goal at 17:24.
“It shouldn’t be hard to put a little black puck in a big net,” Fedotenko said. “We have to find a way to score goals.”
New York’s previous high of 28 shots in a period was done three previous times, the most recent on March 17, 2004, at Florida.
Florida coach Jacques Martin gave Anderson credit for the two points.
“The second period, we didn’t move the puck around well,” Martin said. “Andy gave us a big game.”
The Islanders have the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference (164), and have just three power play goals in their last 42 opportunities.
Comrie found something more troublesome than going scoreless on 53 shots.
“I think the most frustrating thing is letting four points slip away this weekend,” Comrie said after back-to-back home losses to Philadelphia and Florida. “In similar games, we get a lot of shots, but I think we make the goalies look better than they are. We’ve got to get quality shots and get traffic in front of the net. Everybody’s got to step up.”
Notes: The Panthers have won all three meetings with New York this season, including both visits to Long Island Islanders defenseman Bruno Gervais took a high, hard check from Branislav Mezei late in the first period. He suffered both a thigh contusion and concussion, and did not return to the game. Islanders coach Ted Nolan said Gervais will be re-evaluated on Monday. … The Islanders honoured the 17 players who were involved in their four consecutive Stanley Cup victories from 1980-83, as well as then-coach Al Arbour and GM Bill Torrey in a pre-game ceremony.