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Islanders Edge Panthers, 2-1

October 19, 2003

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Oleg Kvasha’s power-play goal 4:10 into the third period gave the New York Islanders a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers in their home opener Saturday night.

Mariusz Czerkawski added a goal and assist for the Islanders, who won for the first time at home since March 1. Rick DiPietro turned aside 20 shots for his second victory.

Kvasha capitalized on the Islanders’ fifth power-play attempt when he was fed a perfect cross-ice pass from Adrian Aucoin, and tapped the puck into the open left side past Roberto Luongo.

Viktor Kozlov scored Florida’s goal and Luongo had 44 saves, but the Panthers lost their second straight.

The teams traded goals in the second period. The Panthers got on the board first just 53 seconds in when Kozlov took a pass from Marcus Nilson, circled behind the Islanders’ net and sent a short-side backhand home.

New York tied the game on a power-play goal at 15:08. Luongo made a pad save on Alexei Yashin’s shot, but the rebound went to Czerkawski on the right side, and he roofed a wrist shot.

Notes: Islanders forward Dave Scatchard left the ice early in the third period after being clipped by Florida defenseman Pavel Trnka. ... The Islanders were the next-to-last team to have its home opener. St. Louis began its first home game one hour later than New York’s. ... A sellout crowd of 16,234 attended _ at roughly the same time as the Yankees played Game 1 of the World Series.

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