A PROPER HONOR
Chris Campoli netted the game-winner and Trent Hunter added an insurance empty netter as the current-day Islanders were able to give Saturday's 1980 Championship Team celebration the right ending, beating the Flyers 4-2.
Neither team put much rubber on net in the first period, but the Islanders held a 3-0 advantage in shots late into the first period. Then, a penalty to John Erskine for hooking, with five minutes left, one of four whistles blown on New York in the period, put the Flyers on the offensive. Trying to help out the PK unit, Rick DiPietro threw the puck along the boards, but a bad bounce sent it out in front, where Petr Nedved was waiting to deposit it in the open net.
The start of the second period looked a lot like the first period, without much offense to be found. But like in the first period, the powerplay would be the difference, this time in favor of the Islanders.
As a 5-on-3 advantage ended, and with R.J. Umberger still in the penalty box, Blake carried the puck into the Flyers' zone, with Alexei Yashin trailing. A drop pass set up Yashin for a one-timer, but the shot was blocked, skidding to Parrish's stick, which sent it wide of the net. Catching up with the play, Blake picked up the puck to the right of Antero Nittymaki's net, and threw a hope-and-prayer at the net, bouncing it off the netminder's catching glove and in to tie things up.
Rookie Rob Nilsson had a chance to put the Islanders ahead shortly after, getting a breakaway opportunity, but was pulled down by Eric Desjardins. Awarded a penalty shot, Nilsson skated wide to the right and bared down on Nittymaki, before snapping off a shot that was blocked with a waffle pad.
Blake was back in the middle of the action in the last minute, leading a rush into the Flyers' zone. He didn't get a shot off, but the play made its way to Shawn Bates deep in the corner. Whipping a hard pass through the slot, he found Parrish in front, who ripped a one-timer off Nittymaki and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
For the first time in the game, a goal was scored in the first half of a period, though the crowd at the Coliseum didn't appreciate it, as it allowed the Flyers to tie the game at 2-2. Taking a cross-ice pass from Peter Forsberg, Mike Knuble flew up the right wing and threw a wrister on net that beat DiPietro under his arm to the stick-side.
Thanks to a double-minor high-stick by Nedved and a crosschecking penalty on Joni Pitkanen, the Islanders were handed another 5-on-3 powerplay. This time, the Islanders converted, taking a 3-2 lead. After Campoli put a slapper on net from the point, Hunter screened the net as the puck went through Nittymaki's leg pads. Hunter picked up his tally with an empty netter at the 2.5 second mark.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Night: 1. Trent Hunter, 2. Mark Parrish, 3. Jason Blake... Before the game, Mattias Weinhandl was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild. Sean Bergenheim was called up from Bridgeport to take his place in the lineup...For the Islanders, Radek Martinek (leg), Eric Godard (viral infection) and Petteri Nokelainen (knee) were scratched, while the Flyers sat Donald Brashear (suspension) Simon Gagne (knee), Michal Handzus (shoulder), Keith Primeau (concussion), Kim Johnsson (head) and Chris Therien (head)... After six games of the eight-game season series, the Isles are down 2-4, picking up wins at home and on the road.
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(79) Alexei Yashin-(45) Arron Asham
(7) Trent Hunter-(16) Mike York-(81) Miroslav Satan
(55) Jason Blake-(17) Shawn Bates-(37) Mark Parrish
(10) Sean Bergenheim-(28) Wyatt Smith-(21) Robert Nilsson
(77) Alexei Zhitnik-(3) Brent Sopel
(14) Chris Campoli-(44) John Erskine
(4) Joel Bouchard-(25) Brad Lukowich
(39) Rick DiPietro
(30) Garth Snow
(49) Brian Savage-(21) Peter Forsberg-(22) Mike Knuble
(19) Branko Radivojevic-(20) R.J. Umberger-(93) Petr Nedved
(27) Turner Stevenson-(17) Jeff Carter-(24) Sami Kapanen
(14) Ryan Ready-(18) Mike Richards-(36) Pat Kavanaugh
(2) Derian Hatcher-(37)Eric Desjardins
(3) Mike Rathje-(44) Joni Pitkanen
(34) Freddy Meyer-(29) Randy Jones
(30) Antero Nittymaki
(42) Robert Esche