Danis comes up big as Islanders top Panthers

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) — Yann Danis made 37 saves to lead
the New York Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the Florida
Panthers on Saturday.

Danis nearly recorded his first shutout of the season, but
Gregory Campbell scored for Florida with 87 seconds left in the
third period.

Mike Comrie gave the Islanders the lead with a first-period
tally and captain Bill Guerin and rookie Kyle Okposo scored in
the final session for New York, which has won three straight.

Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves for the Panthers.

“It’s disappointing. You’d like to say that their goaltender won
the game, but I don’t think that was the story,” Florida coach
Peter DeBoer said. “He played well and they capitalized on their
opportunities. We didn’t. I don’t think we got a great effort
across the board. This is a team that seems to have our number
right now.”

Danis turned aside 16 saves in the first period and 12 more in
the second. He made nine saves in the third period as Florida
pulled Vokoun with about five minutes to play.

“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable,” Danis said. “I feel
bigger in the net, like they have nothing to shoot at. I’m going
into games confident, feeling that we can win.”

“He was making the big saves,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon
said. “But I told him ‘You don’t want to beat yourself.’ He
hasn’t been beating himself now.”

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New York opened the scoring with 86 seconds remaining in the
first period.

Vokoun stopped veteran Doug Weight’s slap shot from the left
point and tried to steer the puck behind the net to Jay
Bouwmeester, but Comrie was there to knock it away from the
All-Star defenseman. Comrie quickly completed the wraparound
before Vokoun could slide over.

Guerin doubled the advantage 4:19 into the third period after
collecting a rebound off Comrie’s shot from point-blank range.
Guerin finished the play with a nifty spin-around backhand goal.

“I surprised myself. It was kind of funny,” Guerin said. “It’s
not my typical (shot). Everyone had fun with it. He’s a good
goalie and sometimes you have to try something different.”

Later in the period, Trent Hunter moved in and fed Okposo, who
skated in and fired a one-timer on one knee from just inside the
left circle, beating Vokoun stick side to build a 3-0 lead 11:02
into the third.

“We’re really getting in on that forecheck and getting above the
puck on the defensive side,” Okposo said. “We’re doing a lot
better job of that lately and just getting shots to the net.”