Plagued by early goals and an inability to generate momentum on the power play, the New York Islanders lost 7-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers in front of a sellout crowd of 16,170 Monday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum.
With the Islanders trailing 2-0, Brian Strait left the game early in the second period with an ankle injury. The defenseman lost his footing in the neutral zone, crashed into the boards and left the game minutes later. With five defensemen on the bench, the Islanders allowed five goals down the stretch.
“Our effort wasn’t good enough through the whole game,” Evgeni Nabokov said. “They were better than us in every aspect, and it seemed like they were hungry and just wanted it a little bit more. But for whatever reason, it wasn’t there for us tonight.”
The Flyers took an early lead on Claude Giroux’s fourth goal of the season. Matt Read’s shot from high in the zone was blocked by Andrew MacDonald, but the puck took an unlucky bounce onto Giroux’s stick with no one around. Giroux potted the game’s first goal at the 0:26 mark.
Minor penalties to Kimmo Timonen and Wayne Simmonds at 13:50 of the first put the Islanders on a two-minute 5-on-3 power play. The Islanders put pressure on toward the end, but Bryzgalov only had to make one save to keep the Flyers lead intact.
“Once we had that two-minute 5-on-3 and we didn’t even generate anything, that deflated us,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “We have to be able to generate momentum in that situation, and we have to be mentally stronger than that.”
Another early goal at the beginning of the second period doubled the Flyers lead. Jakub Voracek’s shot was blocked by Nabokov with Giroux glancing the rebound off Travis Hamonic, but Read’s follow-up attempt went just across the goal line 15 seconds into the period.
Brayden Schenn was the beneficiary of another strange bounce midway through the period, and he converted his fourth goal of the season on the power play at 7:57. Giroux stickhandled around a sprawled Nabokov at 14:45 for his second tally of the game, and the Flyers carried a 4-0 lead into the third.
Three minutes into the third period, Harry Zolnierczyk took off into the Islanders zone, deked around Nabokov and fed a pass to Zac Rinaldo, who tapped in his first goal of the season.
Danny Briere scored his fourth and fifth of the season late in the third, extending Philadelphia’s lead to 7-0.
Following the game, Islanders captain Mark Streit addressed how the team needs to rebound from the loss.
“I think everybody knows what kind of performance we put on the ice,” Streit said. “We have to turn the page quickly. It was a terrible game on our part, from start to finish, but it’s a quick turnaround. We have a game in Ottawa tomorrow, and then a big week against Montreal and Buffalo. We can’t drop our heads here. We just have to play better tomorrow.”
Notes: The Islanders went 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Flyers went 2-for-4 on the man advantage … Mark Streit led all players with 26:41 of ice time … The Islanders won 29-of-54 faceoffs (54%), led by Casey Cizikas, who was 6-for-9 in the circle.
New York Islanders
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
12 Josh Bailey - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 10 Keith Aucoin - 41 David Ullstrom
17 Matt Martin - 53 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald
3 Travis Hamonic - 47 Andrew MacDonald
37 Brian Strait - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
2 Mark Streit - 52 Joe Finley
20 Evgeni Nabokov
39 Rick DiPietro
24 Matt Read - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek
10 Brayden Schenn - 48 Danny Briere - 17 Wayne Simmonds
25 Maxime Talbot - 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Mike Knuble
12 Harry Zolnierczyk - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 36 Zac Rinaldo
44 Kimmo Timonen - 22 Luke Schenn
8 Nicklas Grossmann - 5 Braydon Coburn
29 Erik Gustafsson - 27 Bruno Gervais
30 Ilya Bryzgalov
33 Brian Boucher