Hilbert's shootout goal carries Islanders past Panthers

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Andy Hilbert played in eight games for
the New York Islanders, and hadn't registered a point. He still
won't officially be credited with a point in his ninth game, but he
scored a huge goal to give the Islanders a win.

Hilbert beat Florida goalie Ed Belfour in the 10th round of the
shootout to lead New York to a 4-3 victory over the Panthers on
Saturday night.

"I saw Belfour was stacking his pads and trying to clog the
middle," Hilbert said. "I've been working on my backhand in
practice, and put it over him."

Miroslav Satan, with the help of a video review, scored for the
Islanders in the first round, but on their last chance, Olli
Jokinen of the Panthers beat Rick DiPietro to tie the shootout

"It's a matter of who's going to blink first," DiPietro said.

Jay Bouwmeester tied the game at 3-3 with 3:29 left in
regulation when he got a bounce off teammate Stephen Weiss' skate
and blasted the puck past Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro.

"That was a great play by Stephen," Bouwmeester said. "I was
kind of surprised the puck came right to me."

Shawn Bates, Alexei Yashin and Jason Blake scored for New York,
who is 3-1-2 after six games of a seven-game home stand. Rick
DiPietro turned aside 22 shots for just his second win this season.

Nathan Horton and Joel Kwiatkowski also scored for the Panthers,
who have only won twice in their last eight games. Belfour played
solidly, making 36 saves.

"Eddie was fantastic," Weiss said. "He kept us in the game,
and gave us our point. Without question, he was our best player

Bates scored his first goal this season at 5:55 of the opening
period. He was sent on a breakaway off a perfect feed from Brendan
Witt, and his 10-foot wrist shot from the low slot squirted between
Belfour's pads. DiPietro also earned an assist on the play.

Horton tied the game at 7:59 on the Panthers' first power play.
He moved down low on the right side, outmuscled defenseman Sean
Hill, and shoved a backhand past DiPietro.

Florida now has at least one power play goal in 10 of their
first 13 contests.

Yashin restored the Islanders' lead at 12:15 when he finished
off a two-on-one with Jason Blake by one-timing Blake's bounce pass
past Belfour.

Yashin has 12 points in New York's first 10 games (4-8-12), with
eight of those points coming in his last four games.

Kwiatkowski tied it at 10:08 of the second period. He fired a
bouncing puck toward DiPietro, and the puck fluttered between his

Blake answered back with 62 seconds left in the period on a
power-play tip in.

The Islanders had a season-high 20 shots in the period.

New York forward Mike Sillinger said the Islanders played well
from start to finish.

"I think that was our most complete game this season,"
Sillinger said. "We were skating all night long."

Game notes
Joe Nieuwendyk missed his second straight game for Florida
with back problems. ... Panthers coach Jacques Martin needs one win
to become the 13th NHL coach with 450 career wins. ... DiPietro's
assist is his first point since Oct. 5 of last season. ... Blake
needs one more goal to reach 100 NHL career goals.