Raty scores in NHL debut, leads Islanders past Panthers 5-1

Dec 23, 2022, 5:17 AM | Updated: 8:20 pm

New York Islanders center Aatu Raty (16) celebrates after his goal in his first NHL hockey game dur...

New York Islanders center Aatu Raty (16) celebrates after his goal in his first NHL hockey game during the third period against the Florida Panthers, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022, in Elmont, New York. (AP Photo/John Munson)

(AP Photo/John Munson)

NEW YORK (AP) — Aatu Raty scored in his NHL debut, Anthony Beauvillier added two goals and Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves, leading the New York Islanders to a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Ryan Pulock also scored and Zach Parise added his 11th goal of the season and the 419th of his career for the Islanders.

Raty, a 20-year-old Finnish rookie recalled from AHL Bridgeport earlier in the day, beat Bobrovsky at 7:10 of the third. A second-round pick by the Islanders in 2021, Raty replaced injured center Casey Cizikas in the lineup. Anders Lee and Beauvilier assisted on Raty’s goal.

“This whole day felt surreal,´´ Raty said. “So special and so special having a great game like this.”

Islanders coach Lane Lambert was pleased with the rookie’s first game after Raty had five goals and 12 points in 23 games with Bridgeport.

“I thought we he was really good,´´ the coach said. “Defensively he was sound.”

Matthew Tkachuk scored his 15th goal of the season for Florida, which had won its two earlier meetings against the Islanders this season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves.

Beauvillier opened the scoring for the Islanders and closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 15:50 for his eighth goal of the season.

“Tonight we played a strong game,” said Beauvillier, whose first goal was the 100th of his career. “The guys did a really good job for 60 minutes.”

The inconsistent Panthers are 2-6-0 in their last eight games and 15-16-4 overall. They were coming off a 4-2 home loss to New Jersey on Wednesday after a 7-3 road loss at Boston on Monday.

“We had no legs tonight,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “We couldn’t get pucks in deep. We just didn’t give enough tonight.”

Brock Nelson, who picked up an assist on Beauvillier’s first goal, left the game midway through the second after he was hit in the helmet by a clearing pass by defenseman Alexander Romanov. Rookie forward Simon Holmstrom also appeared to suffer a knee injury when he collided with Florida’s Sam Bennett late in the second.

Lambert had no update on Nelson or Holmstrom after the game.

Lambert said he was pleased with his team’s home-ice effort before the three-day holiday break.

“I thought we played well. We didn’t give them a whole bunch,” he said. “We needed to get rewarded and we did.”

Tkachuk said the Panthers need the hiatus for a chance to regroup and improve on their mediocre record.

“Every individual has to find a way to make a difference,” Tkachuk said. “We have all the pieces here. We have to find ways to play the way we can.”

NOTES: Defenseman Parker Wotherspoon, a fourth-round pick by the Islanders in 2015, also made his NHL debut. … The Islanders were 0-4-1 in their last five games against Florida, scoring only seven goals in those five games. … Islanders coach Lane Lambert said before the game that forward Casey Cizikas was day to day with an upper-body injury following Thursday loss to the Rangers. … The Islanders also placed forward Kyle Palmieri (Dec. 16) and goaltender Semyon Varlamov (Dec. 17) on IR, retroactive to their dates. … New York scratched forward Ross Johnston and defenseman Robin Salo. … Florida scratched captain Aleksander Barkov (missing a third-straight game with suspected knee injury) and forwards Colin White and Chris Tierney.


Islanders: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Panthers: Host Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.


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