Ice Hockey
Takeaways from Panthers 4-3 loss to Islanders
Takeaways from Panthers 4-3 loss to Islanders
May 22, 2024 10:45 PM

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers couldn’t overcome a two goal deficit on Saturday, falling to the New York Islanders 4-3 at Amerant Bank Arena.

Islanders’ goalie Ilya Sorokin saved 42 of the 45 shots he faced as he handed the Panthers their third consecutive loss at home.

Here’s some takeaways from the game.

Islanders crack the Panthers’ stellar penalty kill

After 26 straight successful penalty kill attempts, spanning over six games, the Panthers penalty kill finally conceded a goal.

Islanders’ captain Anders Lee broke the Panthers streak 12:36 into the first — putting New York up 1-0.

Prior to Saturday, the last power play goal the Panthers gave up was Nov. 17 against the Anaheim Ducks.

Florida ended November with a 90.4 percent success rate on the kill — which was third best in the league over the month.

The Panthers finished the game 1-2 on the penalty kill.

Matthew Tkachuk snaps goal drought

In 2022-2023, Matthew Tkachuk had 40 goals on the season, which was second on the team, just behind Carter Verhaeghe’s 42. Through 23 games this season, Tkachuk had scored just three times.

Entering Saturday night’s matchup against the Islanders, Tkachuk was without a goal in his last 10 games — last scoring on Nov. 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

With the Panthers down two in the second period, Tkachuk beat Sorokin for his fourth goal of the season, cutting the Panthers deficit to one.

While it’s definitely going to be a nice feeling for Tkachuk to find the back of the net again, his teammates weren’t worried, even when he was on a drought.

“I’m not too worried about him,” Verhaeghe responded when asked about Tkachuk. “Sometimes the puck isn’t bouncing … he’s gonna get a lot of goals.”

Ilya Sorokin backstops the Islanders with big performance

“I didn’t think they had the edge,” is what Paul Maurice’s first said after the 4-3 loss on Saturday to the Islanders, and he has a decent argument.

In the one goal loss, Florida outshot the Islanders 45-27.

Did the Panthers play great? Absolutely not — however — tonight’s game wasn’t a blatantly in your face poor performance like their last home game against Winnipeg was.

“We played the same style of game that we played in our last three much better than the fifth game ago (Nov. 14 vs Winnipeg),” Maurice said. “If we made a mistake it was in our net.”

New York clearly won the goaltending battle tonight. Ilya Sorokin had 42 saves in what was his sixth win of the season.

On the other side of the ice, Florida’s Anthony Stolarz didn’t have a spectacular night, giving up four goals on 27 shots.

And for pucks that didn’t get through to Sorokin, the Islanders did a pretty good job getting in the way of those, blocking 25 shots — six more than the Panthers did.

“I think we played the right way,” Gustav Forsling said. “We couldn’t really get the puck in, they did a good job.”

Florida drops to 14-8-2 on the season and 7-4-0 at home.

Panthers notes

Florida’s next game will be Wednesday, Dec. 6 at home against the Dallas Stars.

Josh Mahura was activated off IR on Saturday — he hasn’t played since Nov. 16.

Sam Reinhart scored his 16th goal of the season Saturday. He leads the team in scoring.

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