An early start Sunday was followed by an early Flyers lead, as Philadelphia scored three in the first on their way to a 4-1 win over the Islanders.
The Flyers got on the board less than five minutes into the first period, on a stuff-in chance by Mike Knuble. A series of quick passes by Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne put the puck on Mike Rathje's stick at the point in the Isle's zone, setting up a long wrister that went just wide left of Rick DiPietro's goal. The rebound came off the end boards directly back in front, where Knuble tucked it behind DiPietro.
A one-man rush by R.J. Umberger pushed the Flyer's lead to two goals halfway through the period. Dashing down the boards, Umberger carried the puck into the Isle's end of the ice, deked around John Erskine and threw a backhand shot past DiPietro's glove-hand. Moments later, Joel Bouchard answered back for the Islanders, getting into a scrap with the Flyer's Mike Richards. Both combatants got several blows in before they tumbled to the ice.
With just 15 seconds left in the period, Jeff Carter picked off a clearing attempt by Bouchard, and whipped a shot through a screen that beat DiPietro high to his glove-side.
After three goals in the first period, the second stanza was a quiet affair, with neither team lighting the lamp, though they combined to put 20 shots on net.
In the third period, the Isles broke their five-plus period goal drought, capitalizing on a 5-on-3, thanks to a hooking penalty on Branko Radivojevic and the remaining powerplay time from Turner Stevenson's late second-period penalty. Playing at the point, Mike York fed Miro Satan down low, who threaded a clean cross-crease pass for Shawn Bates to hammer home.
The Flyers struck again with two minutes left, when the Islanders pulled DiPietro for a 6-on-4 powerplay. Sami Kapanen capped off a shorthanded up-ice rush by scoring on the empty net.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Game: 1. Robert Esche, 2. RJ Umberger, 3. Mike Knuble... Before the game, Rick DiPietro was named the H.L. Gross and Brothers Player of the Month for March... Rob Collins and Steve Regier got the call from Bridgeport for Sunday's game. Regier, an Islanders 5th-round pick in 2004, made his NHL debut... For the Islanders, Eric Godard (head), Jason Blake (groin), Arron Asham (ankle) and Alexei Zhitnik (ankle) sat out, while Philly scratched Ryan Potulny (healhy), Brian Savage (healthy), Petr Nedved (groin), Kim Johnsson (head), Keith Primeau (head) and Chris Therien (head)... Miro Satan's next powerplay goal will give him a career-high 16... Jason Blake has a team-high five goals in six games against the Flyers this season... All-time, the Flyers hold a 93-81-26-0 lead over the Isles... After seven games of an eight-game season series, the Isles are down 2-5, winning once at home and once on the road.
(10) Sean Bergenheim-(79) Alexei Yashin-(21) Rob Nilsson
(7) Trent Hunter-(16) Mike York-(81) Miroslav Satan
(15) Jeff Tambellini-(28) Wyatt Smith-(17) Shawn Bates
(48) Steve Regier-(26) Rob Collins-(29) Petteri Nokelainen
(14) Chris Campoli-(24) Radek Martinek
(4) Joel Bouchard-(6) Bruno Gervais
(3) Denis Grebeshkov-(44) John Erskine
(39) Rick DiPietro
(30) Garth Snow
(12) Simon Gagne-(21) Peter Forsberg-(22) Mike Knuble
(87) Donald Brashear-(26) Michal Handzus-(19) Branko Radivojevic
(17) Jeff Carter-(20) R.J. Umberger-(15) Niko Dimitrakos
(24) Sami Kapanen-(27) Turner Stevenson-(18) Mike Richards
(2) Derian Hatcher-(34) Freddy Meyer
(3) Mike Rathje-(44) Joni Pitkanen
(37) Eric Desjardins-(23) Denis Gauthier
(42) Robert Esche
(30) Antero Niittymaki