PHILADELPHIA 3, ISLANDERS 2
By Jason Lockhart
The Islanders dominated the third period and got within one, but couldn't get their third goal as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 Thursday night at the Nassau Coliseum. Antero Niittymaki stopped 39 of 41 Islanders shots for the win.
Special teams were the key to Philadelphia's victory as they scored two power play goals and one shorthanded tally to take a 3-0 lead.
The Flyers got on the board with 9:48 remaining in the first period, on the power play. Randy Robitaille tipped home an Alexandre Picard shot from the point for his third goal of the season.
With five seconds remaining in the first period, Simon Gagne picked up a loose puck at center ice, while shorthanded, and scored on the backhand for a 2-0 Flyers lead.
Mike Knuble stuffed home a rebound with 1:39 left in the second period to make it 3-0.
Chris Simon got the first Islanders goal with 30.3 remaining in the second period. Viktor Kozlov battled behind the net before throwing it out to Simon, who put it home on the backhand.
After carrying the play for most of the third period, the Islanders finally broke through with 9:40 left in the period to cut the lead to 3-2. Sean Hill got the puck to Miroslav Satan, who put it in front to Richard Park for his fourth goal of the season.
After that, Niittymaki shut the door to preserve the 3-2 lead, stopping 12 of 13 shots in the third period. Mike Dunham made 20 saves in the game for the Islanders.
Ted Nolan: "In the third period we gave everything we had to give, but unfortunately it was the first two periods that cost us the hockey game."
Mike Dunham: "The back breaker was the late shorthanded goal in the first period. You don't want to put yourself in that position, and we couldn't fight our way back."
Miroslav Satan: "We had over 40 shots and generated a lot of chances. If we take that many shots each game, we should be able to generate enough goals. "
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Antero Niittymaki: Stopped 39 of 41 shots for the win.
2. Randy Robitaille: A goal and a team-high six shots.
3. Alexandre Picard: Two assists and five blocked shots.
4. Richard Park: A goal and four shots.
5. Chris Simon: A goal and six shots.
Stat of the Game: The Islanders out-shot the Flyers 13-2 in the third period.
Fans of the Game: Al Salerno from Glen Head has been a season ticket holder since 1972 and was proudly sporting a Bobby Nystrom jersey. His son Nicolas wore an Arron Asham jersey with nearly every signature of the 2003-04 Islanders. Nicolas' favorite player is Islanders legend Billy Smith. A member of the squirt Ice Cats, Nicolas is hoping to receive a Billy Smith autographed stick over the Holidays.
Slapshots: Miroslav Satan has sported an "A" on his jersey, since Alexei Yashin has been absent from the lineupÂ¦Satan tallied his 600 career point tonightÂ¦Jason Blake now has points in seven consecutive gamesÂ¦Tonight's attendance was 10,280.
Game Operations: Prior to the game, Tom Poti presented the Boys & Girls Club a check for $10,000. Dolores Thompson, Executive Director of the Huntington Station Enrichment Center received the check on behalf of the organizationÂ¦Stacy Holland, Senior Athlete Marketing Coordinator of the Women's Sports Foundation was interviewed between the first and second period, along with Olympic gold medalist and Director of Project Hope, Angela Ruggiero. Founded by Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to granting equal opportunity for women in sports.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
25 Viktor Kozlov - 55 Jason Blake - 12 Chris Simon
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 81 Miroslav Satan
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 45 Arron Asham
10 Richard Park - 17 Shawn Bates - 33 Eric Boguniecki
30 Antero Niittymaki
35 Martin Houle
2 Derian Hatcher - 34 Freddy Meyer
6 Randy Jones - 43 Lars Jonsson
46 Jussi Timonen 45 Alexandre Picard
12 Simon Gagne - 21 Peter Forsberg - 22 Mike Knuble
19 Kyle Calder 27 Randy Robitaille 20 R.J. Umberger
55 Ben Eager - 18 Mike Richards - 24 Sami Kapanen
28 Boyd Kane - 93 Petr Nedved - 40 Eric Meloche