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Islanders late rally falls short

Grabner and Tavares score 35 seconds apart in the final minutes

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 10:40 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Islanders late rally falls short


The New York Islanders made a furious push in the final six and a half minutes of the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers, but fell 3-2 to their division rivals Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders trailed 3-0 entering the final seven minutes, but Michael Grabner and John Tavares scored 35 seconds apart, sending a jolt of energy through the team.  

John Tavares cut the Flyers lead to 3-2 with his goal at 14:05 of the third.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted,” Matt Martin said. “But when we finally beat [Ilya Bryzgalov] I think we had some life in the arena and the fans were great in the last 10 minutes. It got us going again.”

Scott Hartnell’s second period goal -  a high wrist shot that beat Evgeni Nabokov glove side - held up as the game-winner for the Flyers. At that point, the goal appeared to be an insurance marker, before the Islanders kicked into high gear and found their scoring touch.

“We saw how when we forecheck how successful we can be,” Mark Streit said. “But 10 minutes out of 60 minutes is just not enough against a team like Philadelphia.”

The loss is the Islanders fifth in a row and their second straight against the Flyers. Enforcer Zac Rinaldo opened the scoring Thursday at 8:41 of the first period, throwing a puck on net from a sharp angle that snuck past Evgeni Nabokov.

The Flyers top line widened the gap before the end of the period, as Jaromir Jagr walked out of the corner and fed Claude Giroux, who one-timed a shot stick side on Nabokov. 

The Islanders had an opportunity to answer back at the end of the second period with a 3:58 power play, but could not take advantage of the man advantage. 

“We gave them two gifts,” a fired-up Jack Capuano said after the game. “I thought we could have got some momentum back late in the second period when we had back-to-back power plays, and we didn’t execute at all.”

Bryzgalov entered the game with three consecutive shutouts and was 6:30 away from his fourth clean sheet. Grabner ended the Russian netminder’s streak at 2:49:43, deflecting a Streit slap-pass from the point. Thirty-five seconds later, Streit set up Tavares in front of the net for his 31st goal, but that is as close as the Islanders would get.

After Thursday’s loss, the Islanders embark on a five game, two-week road trip starting in Montreal on Saturday night. Action gets under way at the Bell Centre at 7 p.m.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 8 6 5 2 11
K. Okposo 8 1 6 2 7
F. Nielsen 8 3 2 0 5
B. Nelson 8 1 4 -3 5
A. Quine 8 1 4 1 5
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
T. Hickey 8 1 3 -3 4
S. Prince 8 3 0 2 3
R. Pulock 4 1 2 -3 3
N. Leddy 8 0 3 2 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 3 0 .937 2.06
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