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Instant Islanders: Takeaways From 4-3 Win At Panthers

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AP Photo/Michael Laughlin

The New York Islanders picked up a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night at Amerant Bank Arena.

Anders Lee, Pierre Engvall, Simon Holmstrom and Julien Gauthier all scored for the Islanders, while Ilya Sorokin made 43 saves in goal.

That’s just the box score. Here are the key takeaways from the night down in Sunrise.

Depth The Deciding Factor:

Mathew Barzal has been on a tear for lately, totaling seven points in his last two games.

But when the Islanders were forced to scratch their leading point scorer due to illness on Saturday, there was concern whether or not they’d be able to make up the difference against Florida.

It turned out they could, as the Islanders were bolstered by their depth.

Pierre Engvall scored his third goal of the season to push the Islanders ahead by one to start the second period. That lead was doubled less than five minutes later when Simon Holmstrom came up with his seventh goal of the year. Both players now have two goals in their last two games.

Julien Gauthier’s first goal of the season and first as a member of the Islanders turned out to be even bigger than advertised, as it made the difference in the game’s end result.

Horvat Not Helpless Without Barzal:

When the Islanders went without Barzal for the final stretch of their schedule last season, Bo Horvat had a dropoff in production.

That wasn’t the case against Florida. Horvat had two points, assisting on the goals by Holmstrom and Gauthier. With his fifth multi-point game, Horvat upped his season total to 16 and established a three-game point streak.

Right Back In It:

The win places the Islanders into the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-7-6 and 26 points.

The Islanders conclude their three-game road trip with four points out of a possible six points. They’ve now earned points in seven of their last eight games.

Nelson Nearly A Cause For Panic:

The Islanders, who are already down a few players due to injury, nearly lost another against the Panthers.

In the second period, Brock Nelson’s left knee awkwardly twisted as he absorbed a hit from Florida’s Evan Rodrigues.

Nelson struggled to get to his feet but finished his shift before heading to the Islanders’ dressing room.

Islanders fans held their collective breath throughout the second intermission but breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Nelson take the ice in the third period.

Nelson finished the night with two points, assisting on the goals from Engvall and Lee.

Notes: Hudson Fasching played in the 100th game of his NHL career. He drew into the Islanders lineup for the first time in three games in Barzal’s absence.

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