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A VERY LONG NIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA

Saturday, 10.15.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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A VERY LONG NIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA
Flyers 5, Islanders 1

By Kerry Gwydir

SCORESHEET | SUPER STATS

Two nights after their most impressive performance of the young season, the Islanders had their most disappointing, losing to the Flyers, 5-1, tonight in Philadelphia.

This wasn't the result that the Islanders wanted after watching the Flyers blow a big lead the night before on the same ice in beating the Penguins in overtime. Four first-period tallies -- two by Michal Handzus -- had the Flyers in control. The Flyers took a 4-1 lead after the first period and the Islanders spent most of the second period in the penalty box and were unable to mount a comeback. The Islanders were outshot, 16-6, in the opener, 35-13 through two periods and 46-20 for the game.

"We didn't play well from the start," said goaltender Garth Snow, who made 41 saves. "And we never managed to get back in it, even when we had some chances on the power play in the first period."

After having to kill only five penalties in Washington, the Islanders gave up two power goals and were shorthanded 12 times. The Islander's power play was 1-9.

"We were undisciplined for the entire game and that's not acceptable," said Islanders head coach Steve Stirling. "We didn't even give ourselves a chance."

The Islanders were in trouble 15 seconds into the game when the Flyers countered off the opening faceoff with a 2-on-1 rush. Snow managed to deny Branko Radivojevic's in-tight opportunity with his left pad. 

Coverage issues plagued the Isles just 2:02 in when Handzus handed the hosts the early lead. Three Isles were unable to keep the Flyers at bay in front of Snow as Mike Richards was left untouched in the slot with the puck. The Flyer's rookie then spotted Handzus unchecked to the left of Snow, who whisked home Richard's precise feed into the empty side of the net. Instead of seizing the chance to open the game up, the Flyers began a steady waltz to the sin bin at the point including a pair of two-man chances given to the Islanders.

The Isles were given a chance to make amends with a 5-on-3 less than five minutes into the contest after Philly took a too many men on the ice penalty and a double-minor to Derian Hatcher. Mike York quickly took advantage of the man-up situation by slamming home his first Islander goal to the right of Philly netminder Robert Esche. Alexei Zhitnik ripped an Alexei Yashin feed from the right point that missed the Flyer's net. Yet, the puck immediately bounced to York, who quickly pounded the puck past the diving Esche. 

After a failed second 5-on-3, it was Steve Stirling's squad's chance to kill off a shorthanded situation. But, after Janne Niinimaa was shipped to the penalty box, Philly's Patrick Sharp snapped home his first of the year at the 11:07 mark of the first. On the play, Flyer's captain Keith Primeau first beat the Islander coverage to a loose puck behind the Islander's net, then flipped a feed over Zhitnik's stick to the untouched Sharp in the high slot.

Philadelphia added to their lead at the 14:00 mark off a giveaway following a defensive zone faceoff win by the Isles. Kim Johnsson followed up a giveaway by Jason Blake at the Islander blueline by snapping off a shot through a screen that beat Snow over the right shoulder.

Handzus added to the lead with three minutes left in the first as he banged home the rebound of his own shot under the Islander goaltender. Snow originally had stopped Handzus on the doorstep, but the Islander coverage failed to tie up the Flyer forward who added another whack at the puck that wound up squeaking through the Isle's netminder.

"They came out hard and flying and we came out a little confused," said Janne Niinimaa.

Simon Gagne extended the lead to 5-1 with 8:07 left in the second while the Isles had Radek Martinek and Arron Asham in the penalty box. Philly defenseman Eric Desjardins spotted Gagne unmarked to the right of Snow, and then fired a feed that the Flyer's left wing directed into the net with his left skate.

Jason Blake led the Islanders with six shots. Alexei Yashin had one shot on goal and was minus-2 in just 12:18 of icetime. Miroslav Satan had two shots and was minus-2 in 13:28. It was that kind of night for the Islanders, as Steve Stirling sat two of his best offensive players for parts of the third period. In their place, Robert Nilsson saw primary shifts on power plays in the third.

"We had chances early, but we didn't take advantage," said Yashin.


LINEUPS:

ISLANDERS
FORWARDS

(45) Arron Asham-(79) Alexei Yashin-(81) Miroslav Satan
(55) Jason Blake-(16) Mike York-(7) Trent Hunter
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(29) Petteri Nokelainen-(37) Mark Parrish
(11) Mattias Weinhandl-(21) Robert Nilsson-(49) Eric Godard

DEFENSE
(77) Alexei Zhitnik-(3) Brent Sopel
(25) Brad Lukowich-(14) Chris Campoli
(44) Janne Niinimaa-(24) Radek Martinek

GOALTENDERS
(30) Garth Snow
(34) Wade Dubielewicz

FLYERS
FORWARDS
(12) Simon Gagne-(21) Peter Forsberg-(22) Mike Knuble
(26) Michal Handzus-(18) Mike Richards-(49) Brian Savage
(87) Donald Brashear-(25) Keith Primeau-(19) Branko Radivojevic
(11) Jon Sim-(17) Jeff Carter-(9) Patrick Sharp

DEFENSEMEN
(2) Derian Hatcher-(5) Kim Johnsson
(44) Joni Pitkanen-(3) Mike Rathje
(28) Dennis Sseidenberg-(37) Eric Desjardins

GOALTENDERS
(42) Robert Esche
(30) Antero Nittymaki

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
3 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
11 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 65 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 65 14 28 23 42
B. Nelson 65 17 20 7 37
F. Nielsen 65 11 25 13 36
A. Lee 59 21 13 13 34
J. Bailey 53 13 19 11 32
J. Boychuk 55 7 23 14 30
N. Leddy 65 8 18 16 26
T. Hamonic 55 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 1 .911 2.47
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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