NHL Game Summary - Florida at NY Islanders
(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: Florida 2, NY Islanders 0
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Jose Theodore stopped all 27 shots he faced in his first game as a Panther, leading Florida to a 2-0 victory over the New York Islanders in the teams' season-opener.
Theodore signed with the team in July after spending last season with Minnesota.
He was part of an overhaul that followed a 30-40-12 season and last-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers fired head coach Peter DeBoer after the season and named Kevin Dineen their new leader in June.
Dineen made his head coaching debut Saturday and got a victory thanks to Theodore, who faced 22 shots over the final two periods but stopped them all. Stephen Weiss and Jason Garrison scored first-period goals in the victory.
"We knew he was going be here tonight for us," Weiss said. "He was our best player on the ice tonight and deserves the shutout."
Al Montoya made 27 saves for the Islanders, who went 30-39-13 last season and finished just above the Panthers in the conference standings.
"This was a perfect opportunity more than anything for our fans," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. "It's a little disappointing to me that, for whatever reason, we didn't get out of the gate and to compound that with the penalties we took to give them opportunities."
Both of the game's goals came within a three-minute span late in the first period.
Florida got the first thanks to a turnover created by Weiss behind the Islanders net.
The Panthers worked the puck out front and Brian Campbell eventually unleashed a shot from the slot. Montoya made the save but lost the puck, which had trickled behind him in the crease, and Weiss was there to slide it in the open net with 3:23 left.
Florida had a 5-on-3 opportunity later in the period and took advantage.
In a much more methodical set-up than the first goal, Campbell dished from the left point to the center, where Garrison ripped a slap shot that got by Montoya with 15 seconds left.
Theodore's effort in the final 40 minutes made the lead stand.
The teams split four meetings last season...The Islanders were 0-for-3 on power play chances, while the Panthers were 1-for-5.
10/09 00:44:15 ET