Vincent Lecavalier netted a hat trick to spoil goaltender Kevin Poulin’s second start of the season. The Islanders netminder made 27 saves as the team dropped to 4-4-3.
“This is where you have to learn from your mistakes,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We're a .500 hockey club. We can't be satisfied where we are. Our standards are higher. To me it's just disappointing that we didn't play with the urgency. We were lackadaisical. One or two seconds can cost you a goal and that's what happened tonight.”
The Flyers jumped out to a fast start with three goals in the opening frame. Lecavalier scored his first goal of the night on the power play at 4:30, when his one-timer from the right circle hit traffic and deflected past Poulin.
Exactly one minute later, Jakub Voracek doubled the Philadelphia lead. He won a race to a loose puck in the corner of the Islanders zone, cut across a defender a beat Poulin with a forehand attempt.
Kyle Okposo put the Islanders on the board midway through the first period. Thomas Hickey made a between-the-legs pass from the left wing boards to Okposo at the top of the zone. The winger skated toward the center and sent a slap shot through traffic to beat Flyers goalie Steve Mason. John Tavares earned the secondary assist on the play, extending his point streak to an NHL season-high 10 straight games (four goals, nine assists).
Lecavalier’s second tally of the period gave the Flyers a 3-1 advantage. Micael Raffl found Lecavalier with a centering pass behind the Islanders defense, and the centerman’s initial shot was stopped, but Lecavalier batted the rebound out of midair and in at the 18:13 mark.
Trailing by two goals during the second period, the Islanders drew back to within one on Frans Nielsen’s team-leading seventh goal of the season. Peter Regin led a two-on-one rush into the Flyers zone and passed through a defenseman to Nielsen. The centerman received the puck on his backhand and shoveled it across his body and over Mason at 10:30.
That was the closest the Islanders would get, as Lecavalier completed his hat trick in the third period. A broken Flyers’ odd-man rush saw Lecavalier dive to the ice to push a pass to a teammate. After a blocked shot, the puck wound up back on Lecavalier’s stick for a wide open shot. The 15-year veteran finished the play at the 8:53 mark for a 4-2 Flyers lead.
The Islanders were unable to get back within a goal, despite a late third-period power play. During the man advantage, Tavares broke his stick on a one-timer attempt and Okposo rang a shot off the post.
Matt Read tacked on an empty-net goal with a minute and a half to go, capping the score at 5-2.
Following the game, Islanders captain John Tavares said the only option for the Islanders is to look forward.
“We get back to work on Monday,” Tavares said. “We push each other. We have to bear down, not quit. It's only 11 games in and we have a lot of hockey left. We obviously have a big one on Tuesday. That will be a lot of fun to play in.”
The New York Rangers visit Long Island for a 7:00 p.m. matchup on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Eric Boulton and Jay Rosehill earned fighting majors in the first period … The Islanders went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Philadelphia went 1-for-3 … The Islanders registered 15 of their 28 shots during the first period … Kyle Okposo took a team-high five shots on goal … Andrew MacDonald led all players with 26:42 of ice time and led the Islanders with three blocked shots … Matt Martin led all players with five hits … Josh Bailey led the Islanders in the faceoff circle, winning 9-of-15 draws (60-percent).
New York Islanders
60 Kevin Poulin
12 Michael Raffl - 28 Claude Giroux - 40 Vincent Lecavalier
19 Scott Hartnell - 10 Brayden Schenn - 93 Jakub Voracek
24 Matt Read - 14 Sean Couturier - 17 Wayne Simmonds
36 Zac Rinaldo - 25 Maxime Talbot - 37 Jay Rosehill
8 Nicklas Grossmann - 5 Braydon Coburn
44 Kimmo Timonen - 26 Erik Gustafsson
32 Mark Streit - 22 Luke Schenn
35 Steve Mason
29 Ray Emery