John Tavares and Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders, however it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2 at the Wachovia Center.
The Islanders got off to a 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play as Tavares got the Islanders on the board first just 7:06 into the first period with his 18th goal of the season.
Tavares happened to be in the right place at the right time to make the goal happen.
Following a key offensive zone faceoff win by Richard Park, Bruno Gervais led a slap shot fly from the Philadelphia blue line. Park was able to get a stick on the shot, which Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton had a hard time holding onto the puck, which slithered between his legs slowly. Tavares corralled the loose rubber unbeknownst to Leighton and slid the puck across the goal line to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
It should come as a relief to Tavares, to which goals have been hard to come by, as it was just his second goal in his last 28 games.
Kyle Okposo lifted the Islanders to a two-goal lead over the Flyers midway through the second period. As the Islanders were transitioning following a Flyers rush, Josh Bailey fed a cross-ice pass across the blue line towards a streaking Okposo. After taking a few strides, the Islanders leading scorer fired a sizzling wrist shot over the glove hand of Leighton for his 14th goal of the year and a 2-0 Islanders lead.
Jeff Carter cut the Islanders lead in half just 1:36 later with his 31st goal of the season for the Flyers. The play developed as a Freddy Meyer clearing attempt was cut off by Kimmo Timonen at the Islanders blue line. Timonen then sent a hard end-around pass behind the Islanders net to Danny Briere. Carter then positioned himself at the bottom of the right faceoff circle, and one-timed Briere’s pass by Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson to put the Flyers on the scoreboard and cutting the Islanders lead to 2-1.
The Islanders would get into penalty trouble in the final period, which would see the Flyers come out on top.
Claude Giroux tied things up for the Flyers 8:00 into the third period on the power play. With Mark Streit in the penalty box for board, Mike Richards caught Giroux streaking into the Islanders zone as he snuck behind Jack Hillen. Richards sent a cross-ice pass to a speedy Giroux, who used his speed and force to backhand a shot past Roloson to even the score at 2-2 and his 14th goal of the season.
Since the Islanders were already shorthanded at the time of the goal, Sean Bergenheim’s delayed penalty call went into effect at the next faceoff. Fortunately for the Islanders, they would kill off the penalty.
However, Simon Gagne would give Philadelphia a one-goal lead on an ensuing power play with 6:06 left in the period. With Trevor Gillies in the penalty box for boarding, Matt Carle would cut off a Gervais clearing attempt. After dishing the puck off to Giroux, he then fed the puck deep into the left corner for Gagne. Gagne attempted to center the puck to Mike Richards, however it deflected off of Streit’s stick and ended up behind Roloson to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead, and what would eventually the game winner.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Simon Gagne, PHI: Game winning goal 2. Kyle Okposo, NYI: 14th goal of season 3. Matt Carle, PHI: Assist, 25:03 ice time Honorable Mention - Bruno Gervais, NYI: Two assists, 23:05 of ice time.
Slapshots: Philadelphia outshot the Islanders, 35-25...Philadelphia was 2-4 on the power play, while the Islanders were unsuccessful on one man advantage...This was the fifth of six meetings between the two teams this season, with Philadelphia taking all five contests so far...Islanders have an all-time record of 88-111-29 against Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS Forwards
19 Scott Hartnell - 17 Jeff Carter - 48 Danny Briere
12 Simon Gagne - 18 Mike Richards - 13 Dan Carcillo
21 James van Riemsdyk - 28 Claude Giroux - 45 Arron Asham
36 Darroll Powe - 11 Blair Betts - 14 Ian Laperriere
25 Matt Carle - 20 Chris Pronger
44 Kimmo Timonen - 2 Lukas Krajicek
77 Ryan Parent - 5 Braydon Coburn
49 Michael Leighton
33 Brian Boucher