Danny Briere scored a goal or two and Jeff Carter notched a tie breaking goal in the second period to lead the Flyers to their third straight win, and all the way up to the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference standings. It could've and probably should've been a 3-1 victory, but Briere had a goal waived off in the third period when officials say he directed the puck into the net with his skate. He didn't, but there's no sense in complaining about it.
Instead, with less than a minute left and the Isles attempting to pull goaltender Martin Biron, it was Briere who held the puck deep in the New York end, not allowing the Isles to move in the other direction with it as precious seconds ticked off the clock. Couple that with a few huge penalty kills in the third period, and you have your reasons why the Flyers did in fact win their third straight game today.
For the first time in seemingly forever, I think it's safe to say the Flyers put in a complete, sixty minute effort tonight. Michael Leighton gave them a solid performance in goal and while they weren't able to put the puck in the net with a lot of frequency, they were very strong on the defensive end, won faceoffs, and kept the pressure on the Islanders throughout. Jon Sim's lone New York goal came on an unlucky play where the puck was batted out of mid air right to Sim, who was basically alone in front of Leighton. Hard to be too upset about that.
It's another building block. The momentum is starting to build and regardless of how they're coming, the Flyers are picking up wins. Tonight was a lot better than the last two and that's very encouraging going forward. Let's hope the Flyers take another step when they face the Rangers on Wednesday night.
After the jump, questions with answers, the comment of the night, and highlights of the win.
Questions With Answers
- Michael Leighton has, generally speaking, looked darn good as a Flyer. Can he keep it up? Yep, Leighton looked good again. You've got to worry about overworking the guy, and hopefully Boucher will be ready come Wednesday for just that reason, but we've picked up more than expected from Leighton.
- The Flyers have made Martin Biron look pretty porous in the two games against him so far. Can that continue? Biron didn't look nearly as bad as he has in the previous two games against the Flyers, but the struggles are evident for Marty. He's lost his last nine games.
- Can Mike Richards and Jeff Carter leave where they left off last night? Can the best players be the best players again? Carter scored a huge goal and Richards had another good game, but it was a few of the other best players on the team that carried the Flyers tonight. There was Carter, then Briere, as mentioned, who was the Flyers best player tonight, and Scott Hartnell assisted on both Flyer goals.
- Are there any lasting effects to the Pronger/Tavares incident that happened last time these two met? Nah.
- How many minutes of ice time does Syvret see? The Flyers rotated five defensemen pretty successfully last night. Surprisingly, at least to my eye, Syvret played quite a bit tonight. He didn't really look so bad, either. I'm not sure if it was because Peter Laviolette wanted to give a few guys a break after a lot of work last night or because he wanted to see what he had in Syvret, but the guy played almost 15 minutes.
- Sixty minutes, for the love of god. Sixty minutes? As mentioned in that actual writing part above the jump, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It wasn't perfect, but it was still a sixty minute effort. Woo.
Comment of the Night
Still selling santa sacks.