Simon Gagne scored the game-winning goal with 8:58 remaining in the third period, and the Philadelphia Flyers went on to defeat the Islanders, 4-3, Tuesday night at Wachovia Center. Despite fighting back from a third-period deficit, the Islanders lost their fourth-consecutive contest.
The Islanders opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 9:23 of the first period. Mark Streit sent the puck to Chris Campoli at the left blue line. Campoli then slapped a pass through the seam to Andy Hilbert, who was skating across the slot. Hilbert deflected the puck past Martin Biron's left pad for his first power-play goal of the season, and seventh overall.
Doug Weight added to the Islanders' lead just 61 seconds later. Trent Hunter collected a rebound in the slot and fired a shot on net. Biron made the save, but left a rebound for Sean Bergenheim on the right side. Bergenheim backhanded a shot that was again stopped by Biron, but Weight came through the crease and backhanded home the loose puck for his sixth goal of the year.
For Weight, the goal was his 995th career point, putting him just five shy of the 1,000-point milestone.
The Flyers countered less than two minutes later with Arron Asham's second goal of the season. Riley Cote stole the puck from Jon Sim behind the Islanders' net, and floated a pass into the slot. Asham collected the puck and wristed a shot into the top left corner at 11:55.
Darroll Powe then evened the score at 8:09 of the second period. Mike Richards slapped a shot from the top of the face-off circle that Yann Danis kicked out to the right side. Powe picked up the rebound and easily potted his first career NHL goal. Ossi Vaananen also earned a secondary assist on the play.
The Flyers took the lead later in the period on Jeff Carter's 20th goal of the season. Scottie Upshall drove through the neutral zone and attempted a shot from the left side. The puck was blocked, however, and pinballed around the front of the net before trickling to Carter alone at the side of the crease. Carter corralled the puck and wristed in his fourth goal in as many games to give the Flyers a 3-2 advantage.
Blake Comeau tied the game with his first goal of the season off a broken play at the start of the third period. The Islanders were stopped at the blue line as they tried to enter the Flyers' zone, but Josh Bailey eventually tapped the puck to Comeau, who swooped in on the right side. Comeau wristed a quick shot that deflected off defenseman Lasse Kukkonen's stick and past Biron at 2:17.
Gagne put the Flyers back ahead for good with a power-play goal midway through the final frame. Following a dump-in, Richards collected the puck in the left corner of the Islanders' zone. He dropped a pass for Gagne, who blasted a shot that beat Danis on the far side. For Gagne, it was his 14th goal of the season, and 18th career tally against the Islanders.
Danis made his second appearance of the season in net for the Islanders, snapping Joey MacDonald's streak of 17 consecutive starts that dated back to November 3rd. He had 21 saves in the loss, while Biron stopped 24 pucks for his ninth consecutive win against the Islanders.
The Islanders went 1-for-3 on the power play, with eight shots. The Flyers finished 1-for-3 with the man advantage, logging three shots. The Islanders out-shot the Flyers overall, 27-25.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Darroll Powe: scored his first career NHL goal and finished +2 in only 6:36 of ice time 2. Riley Cote: made the play that led to Asham's goal, energized the Flyers' bench 3. Doug Weight: notched his 271st career goal and led all Islanders forwards with 22:19 of ice time Honorable Mention - Mike Richards: assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals
Slap Shots: Doug Weight (6g, 20a) leads the Islanders with 26 points through 28 games this season...Bill Guerin (2g, 2a) has points in four straight games...Andy Hilbert led all Islanders with six shots, while Brendan Witt paced the team with 23:32 of ice time...Mike Sillinger won 16-of-25 (64.0%) draws and saw 3:02 of power-play time...Defenseman Joe Callahan made his NHL debut, logging 13:45 of ice time and dishing out three hits...Joey MacDonald's consecutive starts streak ended two games shy of the franchise record of 19, which was established by Ron Hextall in the 1993-94 season...Jeff Carter is now tied with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the NHL lead in goals...Andy Sutton (flu) and Nate Thompson (flu) were the Islanders' scratches.
2 Mark Streit - 17 Thomas Pock
32 Brendan Witt - 44 Freddy Meyer
14 Chris Campoli - 26 Joe Callahan
20 Sean Bergenheim - 93 Doug Weight - 7 Trent Hunter
11 Andy Hilbert - 12 Josh Bailey - 13 Bill Guerin
49 Mitch Fritz - 10 Richard Park - 57 Blake Comeau
16 Jon Sim - 18 Mike Sillinger - 28 Tim Jackman
43 Martin Biron
30 Antero Niittymaki
3 Lasse Kukkonen - 41 Andrew Alberts
5 Braydon Coburn - 47 Luca Sbisa
23 Ossi Vaananen - 44 Kimmo Timonen
15 Joffrey Lupul - 17 Jeff Carter - 19 Scott Hartnell
9 Scottie Upshall - 13 Glen Metropolit - 14 Andreas Nodl
12 Simon Gagne - 18 Mike Richards - 22 Mike Knuble
32 Riley Cote - 36 Darroll Powe - 45 Arron Asham
1 - 0 NYI
2 - 0 NYI
2 - 1 NYI
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 PHI
3 - 3 Tie