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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.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 18 19 -6 37
K. Okposo 48 12 25 -9 37
B. Nelson 50 20 11 0 31
F. Nielsen 50 15 16 -2 31
M. Grabovski 50 9 15 1 24
J. Bailey 49 8 15 4 23
A. Lee 50 7 14 0 21
N. Leddy 50 3 17 -12 20
R. Strome 39 5 13 -8 18
N. Kulemin 50 5 9 6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 13 6 2 .927 2.32
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