Tavares gets hat trick, leads Islanders over Panthers 5-2

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — John Tavares scored three goals for his sixth career hat trick and the New York Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Nick Leddy had a goal and two assists, and Jason Chimera also scored for the Islanders. Thomas Greiss made 26 saves.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Reilly Smith also scored for Florida, Keith Yandle added a pair of assists and Jaromir Jagr recorded his 1,138th NHL assist. Roberto Luongo stopped 37 shots.

Tavares’ second goal gave the Islanders a 4-2 lead at 7:50 of the third for his 500th NHL point.

Tavares added an empty-net goal with 1:44 left for the hat trick.

Trailing 3-1, the Panthers made the score 3-2 on the power-play when Smith took a shot from the point that got by Greiss with 18:18 left in the third.

The Islanders scored two goals on their first two shots in a span of 1:26 in the first. Chimera put the Islanders ahead 1-0 when he backhanded in a rebound under Luongo’s pads at 2:22.

Tavares’ first goal made it 2-0 on a wrist shot from the left circle at 3:48.

The Panthers closed to 2-1 after Trocheck took a pass from behind the net by Jagr in front of the crease and swept it past Greiss at 9:55 of the first. The goal was Trocheck’s team-leading 13th and 50th career goal.

The Islanders stretched their lead to 3-1 on Leddy’s goal when he fired a shot from the side boards above the left circle that went over Luongo’s right shoulder at 16:06 of the second.

The Panthers killed off a full two-minute 5-on-3 penalty midway through the second period, and again for 1:25 in the third.

NOTES: Panthers C Aleksander Barkov is “week-to-week” with an undisclosed injury, according to Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe. Barkov has missed eight games. … Rowe says that F Jonathan Huberdeau, who was hurt in the last preseason game, won’t return until March, at the earliest. … Jagr has 10 points in his last 12 games. … The Islanders have played four of their past five on the road. They have games at Carolina and Boston before returning home to face Dallas on Jan. 19.

UP NEXT:

Islanders: Visits Carolina on Saturday.

Panthers: Hosts Columbus on Saturday.

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