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Rookie Michael Grabner scores 30th goal, Islanders top Panthers in shootout

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

SUNRISE, Fla. - Rick DiPietro finally beat the Florida Panthers.

Frans Nielsen and P.A. Parenteau scored in the shootout to lift the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Panthers on Saturday night.

Sergei Samsonov and Mike Santorelli were both stopped in the tiebreaker by DiPietro, who made his first start in six weeks and beat the Panthers for the first time in seven games.

Rookie Michael Grabner netted his 30th goal, Micheal Haley and Parenteau also scored in regulation, and DiPietro finished with 29 saves through overtime for the Islanders, who snapped a six-game winless skid on the road.

"I felt pretty good," DiPietro said. "There's obviously a little bit of rust you have to shake off after six weeks but I was pleasantly surprised with how well the communication and the handoffs with the defence went."

Florida's David Booth was awarded a penalty shot at 28.9 seconds of overtime when Andrew MacDonald hooked him, but Booth failed on the attempt.

Parenteau made sure he didn't miss his chance to win the game.

"I just came left with a little bit of speed and I went to my go-to move and it went over his glove," Parenteau said. "It's a move that's been working for me lately."

Rookie Evgeny Dadonov scored twice, and Stephen Weiss added a goal for the Panthers, who got 18 saves from Scott Clemmensen.

Dadonov notched his first NHL multi-goal game in his first game since he missed 20 because of a broken finger.

The Panthers tied it 3-3 on Weiss' goal at 13:26 of the third period. His slap shot from the top of the right circle got past DiPietro's glove.

"I don't usually let that (third) goal in, and the team played so well it would have been nice to win it in regulation," DiPietro said.

New York scored two goals on just four shots in the third period.

The Islanders took a 3-2 lead when Haley took the puck in his zone, skated to the net and put a wrist shot between Clemmensen's pads at 9:50.

New York tied it 2-2 at 7:09 of the third when Parenteau took a pass from Jack Hillen in the slot and beat Clemmensen on the stick side.

Dadonov's second goal gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead at 17:28 of the second.

"I wasn't very lucky defensively ... being on the ice for all three (Islanders) goals," Dadonov said. "It's pretty hard to come back after 20 games. I'll try and get better. I knew exactly what I had to do (defensively) but I can't do it. My brain was doing other things."

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Grabner's short-handed goal at 5:14 of the second.

Dmitry Kulikov turned the puck over in the Islanders zone, and Grabner skated the other way. Grabner fed a pass above the right circle to Nielsen, who gave the puck back to Grabner. His shot from the left circle got past Clemmensen and gave him a tie for the team lead in goals with Matt Moulson.

Grabner leads NHL rookies in goals.

"It was a big win after going into the third period down 2-1, but we battled back and in the end we got the win and that's all that matters," Grabner said.

Florida made it 1-1 on Dadonov's goal in the second period, but the Panthers absorbed their 27th one-goal loss this season.

"Disappointing. You go in the third with a 2-1 lead, give up four shots, have a penalty shot in overtime with a chance to win it and end up losing the game," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought we deserved better but you have to give the Islanders credit. They're opportunistic."

Notes: DiPietro missed 20 games after sustaining broken facial bones during a fight with Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson on Feb. 2. DiPietro also had an injured knee. ... The Islanders are 1-7-1 at Florida since a 4-1 win Nov. 18, 2006. ... Grabner has five goals and four assists in nine games. ... Panthers D Alexander Sulzer missed his seventh game due to a strained oblique.



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