THE FINAL WHISTLE
The Islanders' season came to an end Tuesday night at the Coliseum, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Flyers.
A quiet first period that saw both teams unable to score on the powerplay was finished with a big play by three players headed down to the AHL playoffs. Jeremy Colliton rushed the puck toward Philadelphia goaltender Robert Esche, but ended up on the ice in the crease. Picking up the loose biscuit, Robert Nilsson curled into the corner and fed Bruno Gervais at the point for a hard slapshot that beat Esche five-hole.
Neither team could find the net in the second period, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Though the Isles held an edge in shots, 22-12, they were able to light the lamp on any of their first four powerplays.
The Isles held the Flyers off the scoreboard for exactly 41 minutes, before R.J. Umberger tied the game at one goal apiece. Wrestling the puck free from John Erskine in the corner of the Islanders' zone, Umberger took a straight line to the front of the net and tucked a shot between Garth Snow's glove and leg pad.
Eleven minutes later, the Flyers struck again, taking a 2-1 lead, when a bouncing puck along the boards at the Flyers' blueline turned into a breakaway for Jeff Carter. Snow attempted to pokecheck the puck, but Carter avoided his stick and deposited the puck into the yawning net. The Flyers iced the game when Simon Gagne and Michal Handzus put away shorthanded goals in the final minute, as Snow sat on the bench for a 6-on-4 advantage.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Night: 1. Jeff Carter, 2. R.J. Umberger, 3. Garth Snow... Prior to the game, Chris Campoli was named the H.L. Gross and Brothers Player of the Month for April... The Islanders' sent Matt Koalska and Ryan Caldwell down to Bridgeport. Making their NHL debuts in their places are Cole Jarrett and Masi Marjamaki... The Flyers scratched Branko Radivojevic (healthy), Randy Jones (healthy), Kim Johnsson (concussion), Keith Primeau (concussion), Ryan Potulny (healthy), Sami Kapanen (healthy), Turner Stevenson (healthy) while the Islanders sat Allan Rourke (groin), Mike York (toe), Petteri Nokelainen (knee), Arron Asham (ankle), Joel Bouchard (knee), Eric Godard (concussion) and Alexei Zhitnik (ankle)... After an eight-game season series, the Flyers took a 6-2 win.
--additional reporting by Brian Bohl
Brad Shaw on his first year as an NHL head coach:
"It was a great experience for me. I'm a better coach than I was in mid-January when I took over. I think all the coaches would feel that way. It was fun while we were in the race. It's great to see Ricky (DiPietro) take great strides as a professional. It was great seeing guys like Campoli develop. I was really happy for those guys. We're all just trying to get better. Hopefully most of the players feel they are a little bit better."
On the valuable experience the team's many rookies received:
"I think we have a better idea on some of these young players. Some of them are ready to take the step and some could use a little more seasoning in the minors. In the big picture, that's a valuable thing to know. You don't have to waste games next year. We can move on. That is a bright spot coming out of this."
On the team's effort against Philadelphia:
"We made a bad decision in the neutral zone, and 50 minutes of good, smart hard work goes down the drain. That tends to happen with young guys. Those are young mistakes. With most players, you have to go through those growing pains. I thought we out-played them."
On his future:
The new GM coming in interviews the current coach, and I'm sure that will happen. A lot of times they have somebody in mind. I'm sure they'll be some consideration there. It's just a waiting game now."
(55) Jason Blake-(79) Alexei Yashin-(7) Trent Hunter
(48) Steve Regier-(17) Shawn Bates-(81) Miro Satan
(10) Sean Bergenheim-(27) Jeremy Colliton-(21) Rob Nilsson
(15) Jeff Tambellini-(28) Wyatt Smith-(58) Masi Marjamaki
(14) Chris Campoli-(24) Radek Martinek
(63) Cole Jarrett-(6) Bruno Gervais
(3) Denis Grebeshkov-(44) John Erskine
(30) Garth Snow
(39) Rick DiPietro
(12) Simon Gagne-(21) Peter Forsberg-(22) Mike Knuble
(87) Donald Brashear-(93) Petr Nedved-(26) Michal Handzus
(55) Ben Eager-(18) Mike Richards-(49) Brian Savage
(15) Niko Dimitrakos-(20) R.J. Umberger-(17) Jeff Carter
(2) Derian Hatcher-(34) Freddy Meyer
(3) Mike Rathje-(44) Joni Pitkanen
(23) Denis Gauthier-(37) Eric Desjardins
(42) Robert Esche
(30) Antero Niittymaki