UPDATE: Isles fall 4-3 to Panthers
Despite Tavares earning his first career hat trick, Isles drop a 4-3 decision, their first regulation loss since October 13 against Washington. See game recap in post above.
UPDATE: Islanders and Panthers tied 3-3 after second period
With a pair of second-period goals John Tavares scores his first NHL hat trick, and in doing so, has allowed the Islanders to erase three one-goal deficits throughout the game.
After his third goal of the night--Tavares buried Blake Comeau's rebound and slipped one past Vokoun at 18:53-- the second-year stat dropped to his knees in celebration.
UPDATE: Islanders trail 2-1 after first period
The Islanders trail by a goal after a first period in which they were outshot 14-8.
Mike Weaver's slapshot beat a screened Rick DiPietro at 4:58 and after Florida surrendered their first PPG of the season--to John Tavares at 9:25--Steve Bernier had a wide-open net to convert a nice cross-ice feed for a 2-1 Panthers lead at 11:15.
Islanders try to make it four straight with a win tonight against the Panthers, whom they have not beaten in Sunrise, Florida since November 18, 2006.
Josh Bailey (hip pointer) will sit this one out; Jack Hillen replaces the injured Andrew MacDonald (hand, 4 to 6 weeks) in the lineup.
Two days after his 28-save gem against Tampa Bay, Rick DiPietro gets the start again tonight.