UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Scottie Upshall and the Florida Panthers have had little to celebrate this season. But four unanswered goals to secure a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders was reason enough to savour the moment. Upshall scored twice in the third period as part of the four-goal outburst as the Panthers snapped a four-game losing streak and sent the Islanders to yet another discouraging loss Sunday. Upshalls 11th of the season broke a 3-3 tie at 10:31 of the final period. The goal came on the rebound of shot by Shawn Mattias, who also scored two goals for the Panthers. Upshall tapped the loose puck past backup goaltender Anders Nilsson, who started in place of Evgeni Nabokov. He scored again at 15:26 on the power play to make it 5-3. Tim Thomas made 35 saves for the Panthers (23-31-7). "We came out determined in the third," said the 30-year-old Upshall, a first-round pick by Nashville in 2002 who almost completed a natural hat trick with two minutes left. "We needed a spark and we found it. And we played with an edge." The Islanders entered the third with a 3-1 advantage after Thomas Vanek scored twice in the first and Ryan Strome added a goal late in the second. But Floridas Marcel Goc and Matthias scored early in the third to tie the game at 3 before Upshalls late scores. Vanek opened the scoring at 6:41 with his 20th of the season and added his 21st on the power play at 7:39. The goals were his first since Jan. 25. Vanek was a major acquisition by the Islanders from Buffalo on Oct. 27 and has 17 goals in 47 games for New York. The Austrian left wing said he wants to test free agency this summer. Thus, the Islanders might try to trade him before Wednesdays deadline while they can still garner assets in return. The Islanders lost for the ninth time in 11 games. And it was the 12th time in their disappointing season in which they surrendered a two-goal lead, winning only two of those contests. "We seem to find ways to lose," said Andrew MacDonald, also a pending free agent who could be traded. "Its tough to see games slip away. When you get the lead, you should be able to hold it, most of the time. Its discouraging." MacDonald also addressed the idea he could be leaving the only NHL organization he has known. "I thought about it today, it weighs on your mind," the 27-year-old defenceman said. "You try not to let it get to you." After Matthias scored for Florida to make it 2-1 at 18:15 of the second, Strome restored the two-goal margin for the Islanders 59 seconds later with his second of the season. Gocs 11th of the season at 3:16 of the third came on a 40-foot floater from just inside the left point to make it 3-2 early in the third. Matthias scored his second of the game and ninth of the season at 4:18. The afternoon matchup was chippy from the start. Rival tough guys Krys Barch of the Panthers and the Islanders Eric Boulton squared off 2:25 into the game. Eight seconds later, a skirmish ensued between Brian Strait of the Islanders and Jonathan Huberdeau of Florida. "We didnt quit, we stayed involved," added Matthias. "We played a real gritty game and were glad to get the two points." The Islanders beat Toronto in overtime last Thursday in their first game back following the Olympic break. But they were drubbed 6-1 on Saturday by the New Jersey Devils as Jaromir Jagr scored his 700th career goal. The Islanders played without defenceman Travis Hamonic, suspended one game for instigating a fight near the end of Saturdays loss. NOTES: The Islanders activated forward Frans Nielsen before the game and sent Mike Halmo to AHL Bridgeport. Nielsen, who has 18 goals, suffered a broken hand when he was slashed against Colorado on Feb. 8. ... The Islanders (23-32-8) head out for a four-game Canadian road trip -- Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver before returning home to face San Jose on March 14. ... The Panthers have played 30 one-goal games this season, with a 12-11-7 mark. ... Florida was without forwards Alex Barkov (knee) and Tomas Kopecky (upper body) while the Islanders also missed forward Matt Martin (lower body). ... Florida scratched captain Ed Jovanovski and forward Scott Gomez. Justin Jones Chargers Jersey . Perez, 35, posted a 1-2 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 19 relief appearances last season. His season ended Aug. 9 due to a torn ligament in his left elbow. Perez joins infielder Andy LaRoche and catcher Mike Nickeas with minor-league agreements for 2014 that include invitations to attend spring training. 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Off-Season Game Plan looks at the Capitals possible summer plans, with the understanding that its tough to plot a direction without a general manager or head coach around which to set those expectations.SUNRISE, Fla. - The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking forward to their second playoff appearance in franchise history. Ryan Johansen scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and the Blue Jackets beat the Florida Panthers for the eighth straight time, 3-2 on Saturday night. Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves. The Blue Jackets clinched the first wild-card spot and will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. "Just excited for the opportunity to play in the playoffs. Thats something you have to earn and our players went and earned it this year," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "Weve got the opportunity to play one of the premier teams in the league, a team that has talented players, they know how to win, theyre well-coached, and we get to go in their building." Columbus previous playoff appearance was in 2009 when it was swept in four games by Detroit. Philadelphias 4-3 overtime win over Pittsburgh earlier Saturday clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division for the Flyers and forced Columbus to the wild-card spot. The Blue Jackets went 0-5 against the Penguins this season, losing all five in regulation. "Half the guys wanted to play Pittsburgh. I think we owe them more than anything," Atkinson said. Johansens 33rd goal of the season, a one-timer from the left circle after taking a pass from James Wisniewski, got past Luongo at 5:58 of the third period to put Columbus ahead. "When you get passes like that you really just have to hit the net," Johansen said. "All the credit to Wis great vision hitting me down low there. Give them (Florida) credit, they played really hard tonight. Im proud of the guys sticking with it and finally got two points." The Blue Jackets played eight games in the last 12 days; the last three on the road. "The relief is that we got through the game healthy," Richhards said.dddddddddddd "It was tough stretch that we just went through.When that happens, fatigue sets in and usually brains start not functioning in the right way, but we found a way to win the game." Jimmy Hayes and Vincent Trocheck scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo stopped 35 shots. Hayes goal in the second period gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Hayes grabbed a loose puck in the Columbus zone, brought it down the boards on the right side and his shot from the right circle beat Bobrovsky at 6:35. Columbus tied it at 2 on a power-play goal by Letestu at 10:13 of the second as his wrist shot from the right circle got to the net just as Luongos stick was knocked loose by a Columbus player. The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds in when Atkinson took a pass from Brandon Dubinsky from the left circle to the right of the crease and tapped it in. "They really took it to us the first 10 minutes, but we settled down afterward," Luongo said. "Just came down to one break for them." The Panthers tied it 1-all when Trocheck scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway. His shot from the slot trickled under the Bobrovskys pads with about a minute left in the first. It was the Panthers fourth short-handed goal in their past seven games. Florida captain Ed Jovanovskis season ended early as he received a game misconduct for an elbow to Corey Tropp with under four minutes left in the first. NOTES: Blue Jackets D Nikita Nikitin returned to the lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury. ... Panthers C Brandon Pirri has a five-game point-scoring streak. ... The Panthers were outshot 16-3 during one stretch in the first period. ... Nick Bjugstad finished the season as the Panthers leading scorer with 38 points, an NHL record for the fewest points to lead a team. The Panthers became the first team since the 2000-01 Minnesota Wild to go an 82-game season without a 40-point scorer. 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