Hornqvist scores key goal in Panthers 3-1 win over Islanders

ELMONT, NY — Patric Hornqvist scored the game-changing goal at 3:43 in the third period on Thursday, helping the Florida Panthers start the season with a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders.

Florida was undefeated after eight games last season, losing only once in its first 11 meetings.

Hornqvist scored from around the net, straight after a fine save from Ilya Sorokin’s glove.

Hornqvist hit the target 30 seconds after Noah Dobson’s equalizing goal on the power play.

Eetu Luostarinen scored the first goal of the match. The 24-year-old Finn deflected a point shot from Radko Gudas midway through the second period.

Matthew Tkachuk completed in an empty net.

Acquired from Calgary this summer, in return for Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar, Tkachuk has agreed to an eight-year contract extension for $76 million.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, four more than Sorokin.

The Panthers will play again Saturday afternoon in Buffalo.

The Islanders will have the chance to recover Saturday night at home against the Anaheim Ducks.

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