Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) – Matt Moulson notched his second career hat trick, and the New York Islanders beat the Florida Panthers, 5-1, Monday at Nassau Coliseum.
Radek Martinek and Josh Bailey also tallied for New York, which improved to 8-3-0 in February.
“The guys are having fun and they’re playing within the team concept,” said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
Two days after becoming the first goaltender in Islanders history to record a shutout in his first start, Al Montoya provided another strong performance between the pipes with 20 saves.
Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 36 shots for the Panthers, who have dropped five of their last seven games.
“I’m not going to let our guys off the hook and I’m not going to discredit what [the Islanders] did. They played a real good game,” said Florida head coach Peter DeBoer.
Moulson, who scored the final two goals in Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Los Angeles, stayed hot with a pair of tallies in the first period against Florida.
John Tavares did the dirty work behind the net to get the puck out to Moulson and he beat Vokoun from in close at 7:40. The former ninth-round pick struck again a little over seven minutes later, one-timing a pass from P.A. Parenteau while falling to one knee over the glove of the Panthers’ goalie.
The Islanders had an opportunity to expand their lead when Stephen Weiss caught Martinek with an elbow later in the opening frame. The Florida forward was assessed a five-minute major as well as a game misconduct.
Martinek exacted revenge 37 seconds into the second period, unloading a slap shot from the point that deflected off Florida’s Jack Skille and found room between the left arm and torso of Vokoun. The goal came with three seconds remaining on the lengthy power play.
Bailey made it 4-0 six minutes later before Mike Santorelli spoiled Montoya’s bid for a second consecutive shutout with a power-play goal at 10:34 of the third period.
Moulson hit an empty net to complete the hat trick with 2:37 to play.
The Islanders have now recorded at least three goals in nine straight games. It’s their longest such streak since a 10-game run from February 27-March 17, 1994…Moulson recorded his first three-goal game on December 3, 2009 at Atlanta…Vokoun entered Monday with a 1.86 goals-against average in 19 previous starts against the Islanders.