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Michael Leighton looked shaky. The team looked lazy. The opponent looked the opposite. Lukas Krajicek caught a puck in the face. James van Riemsdyk took a puck to the finger. Dan Carcillo left the ice with a knee injury.
The story of the first period. Luckily, the Flyers wouldn't let any of this dictate the rest of the hockey game.
Krajicek returned. JVR returned. Carcillo returned, and the Flyers completely took over the second half of the contest at Wachovia Center on Tuesday night before leaving with a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. If you haven't heard, we officially own the Islanders with 15 straight wins. Unfortunately, that's basically equal to having hotels on Baltic and Mediterranean.
Down 2-0 in the second period, the Flyers decided to wake up, and for literally almost the rest of the hockey game, they kept the puck in the Islanders end. It was a complete contrast from the start, with a ton of puck posession, a ton of shots and a tired Isles defense.
Jeff Carter capitalized on this pressure just two minutes after Kyle Okposo put the Isles up two. It continued for the rest of the period, with the Flyers getting their chances but not capitalizing. That would change in the third, however, thanks in part to the lack of discipline displayed by the Islanders.
Mark Streit was called for boarding with 13 minutes left in the third, and on the ensuing power play, Mike Richards would feed Claude Giroux in the slot for a beautiful goal to tie the game. As Giroux cut to the net, he was impeded by Sean Bergenheim, who was whistled off for high sticking. Nothing would come of that man advantage, but the Flyers would quickly be up a man once more.
Trevor Gillies, the goon called up by the Islanders specifically for this game, got a little too physical with Scott Hartnell behind the play. He was called for boarding, and on this version of the Peco, the Flyers put together a work of art. Matt Carle started things with a gorgeous zone keep, and he would dish the puck down the boards where it would be picked out of the air by a glove-less Giroux. Giroux then cut to the middle and passed the puck over to Simon Gagne, who would bury the game winning goal behind Dwayne Roloson.
After the jump, questions with answers, a playoff race update and the comment of the night.
Questions With Answers
- Does Michael Leighton put in another solid outing? The first goal aside, tonight was another serviceable outing for Leights. It wouldn't hurt to work on the rebound control, though.
- Can Dwayne Roloson prove to the Flyers that they should've gone out and picked up another goalie at the deadline... like, I don't know... him? Roloson was very solid all night long, but I don't know if his play was much better than Leighton's.
- Tavares has two goals in four games against the Flyers. Does he break his loooooong funk tonight? Of course he did. What did you expect? An young star on a division rival NOT scoring on the Flyers? Pleaaaaaaase...
- What's the point cushion in 6th place for the Flyers at the end of the night, and are they any closer to Ottawa when it's all said and done this evening? Full playoff picture update below.
Tonight's Playoff Race Update
Comment of the Night
I swear, if the Islanders ever beat the Flyers, the sky is probably going to turn purple like on Lost when they didn't push the button.
>> Ben Rothenberg, via text message