SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers scored early and then played enough defence to hang on. Scottie Upshall scored a short-handed goal and had an assist to lead the Panthers over the New York Islanders 4-2 on Tuesday night. Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers. Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots, and Ed Jovanovski had two assists. "We had chances tonight early in the game and they went in," Florida coach Peter Horachek said. Thomas Vanek and Colin McDonald scored for the Islanders. Kevin Poulin made 22 saves. The win was the first for Florida over the Islanders in five games, dating to the 2011-2012 season. The Islanders lost for the first time in five games and had a seven-game road winning streak snapped. Florida took a 4-0 lead on the short-handed goal by Upshall in the second. He took control of the puck as it slid away from New Yorks Andrew MacDonald at the blue line and skated in on Poulin, beating him on the stick side at 15:54 for his second short-handed goal of the season and first goal since Nov. 30 against Pittsburgh. "Anytime you get a flip up to a D-man who has trouble with bouncing pucks, youve just got to get on him," Upshall said. "It was one of those plays that I was lucky to poke it past him and stick with it and make a move." New York had come from behind in five straight road games to pull out a win, but a 4-0 deficit proved too much to overcome. "We talked about it before tonights game, that we wanted a better start," McDonald said. "Obviously, we didnt do that and got ourselves in a deeper hole than in the last couple games. Going down four, its just too tough to come back." The Islanders scored with 31 seconds left in the second. Matt Martin passed from behind the net in front to McDonald, who poked the puck past Thomas to make it 4-1. New York closed to 4-2 on Vaneks goal in the third. Vanek took a pass from Frans Nielsen behind the net and beat Thomas at 2:38. Thomas faced 15 shots in the third period but was able to keep the Islanders in check after Vaneks goal. "Its rare in the NHL to have that kind of cushion," Thomas said. "It was nice, but at the same time its a challenge, too, because you dont want to let the other team back into it. They were right on the brink of coming back there after they got the second goal." The Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the first, the first time they had scored three goals in a period since a 4-2 win over Dallas in the season opener on Oct. 3. Florida scored just 32 seconds in for its fastest goal this season. The Islanders turned the puck over at the blue line and Brad Boyes passed to Barkov low in the right circle. His wrist shot beat Poulin. "Early on we made some tough mistakes that cost us goals right away," Vanek said. Shores goal made it 2-0. Shore was the last Panthers player to touch the puck before it went off the skate of defenceman Brian Strait and into the net at 15:34. The goal was Shores first of the season. Bjugstad stretched the lead to 3-0 when his shot from in front beat Poulin on the left side with 36 seconds left in the first. Even though he gave up four early goals, Poulin made some good saves to prevent the game from turning into a rout. "Thats my job, I guess. To give the team a chance to win and thats what I tried to do tonight and every night Im in," Poulin said. "It wasnt an easy game tonight." The Islanders killed off a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:14 in the first period. The Panthers power-play drought extended to 0 for 22 in the past seven games. NOTES: The Panthers will host the 2015 NHL draft in Sunrise from June 26-27. ... Jovanovskis two assists were the first points for the Panthers captain since returning to the lineup from hip surgery on Jan. 4. ... Thomas faced New York for the first time since he left the team as a free agent in July. He was traded to the Islanders from Boston in February but never played a game for them. ... Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov, on injured reserve since Jan. 6, has resumed skating but is still inactive. Mikhail Grigorenko Jersey
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.com) - No Sidney Crosby, no problem. MIAMI -- LeBron James delivered his message loud and clear, without actually saying a word. Hes willing to leave Miami, if thats what it will take to win more championships. And what happens next will likely be up to not just the Heat, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as well. Through his agent, James informed the Heat on Tuesday that he has decided to opt out of the final two years of his contract, a move that means he becomes a free agent on July 1. He will be able to sign with any team, including Miami, and Heat President Pat Riley said he "fully expected" James to take advantage of his early termination option. "We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together," Riley said. The Heat have been preparing for this for some time. James, Wade and Bosh all got six-year contracts when they teamed up in Miami in July 2010, the last time free agency was accompanied by the sort of frenzy that will envelop the league over the next few weeks. But each of those deals came with options to leave either this summer or in 2015, in part to allow both the players and the team to have financial flexibility. James -- who averaged 27.1 points this past season -- was owed $42.7 million for the next two seasons, though that seems irrelevant in the sense that hell be getting plenty of money from the Heat or someone else for years to come. If he stays with Miami, he could sign a deal that would give the team room to manoeuvr within the structures of the salary cap and luxury-tax threshold. So could Wade and Bosh, if they choose to opt out as well -- and if both do, Miami would potentially have plenty of cash to spend on roster upgrades. Neither has announced their plans, though both have previously said they want to remain in Miami. "No news here yet," Wade said Tuesday. James stayed silent as well, with agent Rich Paul being the one who informed the Heat of the four-time NBA MVPs plan. But last week, while still dealing with the sting of losing the NBA Finals to San Antonio, James expressed how enticing the idea of flexibility is to him. "Being able to have flexibility as a professional, anyone, thats what we all would like," James said last week.dddddddddddd "Thats in any sport, for a football player, a baseball player, a basketball player, to have flexibility and be able to control your future or your present. I have a position to be able to do that. ... Theres a lot of times that youre not in control of your future as a professional." Hes in control now. He turns 30 next season. He might just be entering his prime. James said last week that he, Wade and Bosh owed it to one another to have a conversation before deciding where to play going forward. It is unclear if those discussions have taken place. And while James opting out was largely expected, the ripple effect of the move was seen all over the sports world. The NFL, on its Twitter account, posted a photo of James dunking a football over the crossbar at the stadium his beloved Dallas Cowboys call home, light-heartedly asking him if he wanted to pass some time in a training camp while making his decision. And U.S. Soccer, also in a tweet, said it has a new team for him -- then attached a photo of mens national team jersey bearing James name and No. 6. Even hockey got into the act. "You know, youd be 6-10 on skates," someone posted to the Carolina Hurricanes Twitter account, in a message to James. For now, all that seems certain is James sticking to basketball. What team, thats now up for debate. Hes been with the Heat four seasons, been to the NBA Finals in each of those years, winning two championships and winning more games than any other team over that span. He seems to have largely recovered from the hit his image took when he left Cleveland for Miami in 2010, often saying hes much happier now as a person than he was then. Plus, his life has changed. He married longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson last year, and the couple is expecting their third child. "Players have a right to free agency and when they have these opportunities, the right to explore their options," Riley said. "The last four seasons have been historic and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Erik Spoelstra have led the Miami Heat to one of the most unprecedented runs in the history of the NBA." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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