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TMA: Gagne's blast leads Flyers to 4-3 win

The Flyers beat the New York Islanders tonight by a score of 4-3 at the Center in South Philly. Biron made 24 saves in the win, while Yann Denis made 20 saves for New York in the loss. Marty is now 9-0-0 in his last nine against the Isles, and the Flyers are 3-0 against the boys from the Island this season.

With the win, Philly is now tied with Pittsburgh for second in the division. With three games in hand over the Rangers, the Flyers are now only four points out of first place.

B&P’s Take: The Islanders, for whatever reason, are really good in the second game of a back-to-back. In fact, until tonight they were a perfect 6-0 under that scenario. The Flyers got behind early but we able to battle back, something that I cannot stress enough as being really, really big. This was a quality win from many standpoints, and a lot of the problems we saw in the past few games were corrected tonight. Most importantly, the five-on-five play returned with a vengeance.

B&P’s Three Stars

  1. Simon Gagne: game-winning goal

  2. Mike Richards: 2 assists

  3. Riley Cote: a goal away from the Gordie Howe Hattrick

  4. Honorable mention to Darroll Powe for his first NHL goal and his Bobby Clarke smile.

Turning Point of the Game: A weak interference call on Brandon Witt led to a Flyers power play with about nine minutes left. 10 seconds later, Gagne tees and fires for the game-winner.

Questions With Answers: Part of a new segment I'm bringing into the gameday posts and these TMA posts, I asked five questions in the gameday post. Here they are, reprinted, with their answers. All credit for this idea goes to Hockey Wilderness.

1. Can the Flyers score at even strength? Yes, finally. They worked on the even strength play in practice the past few days and apparently it worked out. Aaron Asham, Darroll Powe, and Jeff Carter all scored at five-on-five tonight.

2. Can Marty bounce back and have a strong game after a weak perfomance in his last outing? Martyr was nothing special tonight, but he did his job keeping his team in the game. He still loves to play the puck too much which has to stop, but he got the job done tonight. He's forgiven for Thursday.

3. Will Richards and Gagne score shorthanded, AGAIN? No, but they did have a two-on-one shorthanded that was broken up at the blueline. And they connected on the power play for Gagne's game-winning blast, so who really cares?

4. Was moving Lupul onto the Carter/Hartnell line a good idea? Apparently not, since they didn't do anything on the scoresheet and when Carter scored his goal, it was with Upshall and Hartnell on his wing.

In the Doghouse: Versus. I just can't stand games on Versus. I wanted to give them a chance when they first got the contract, and I tried, I really did. And honestly, the presentation isn't all that bad. I enjoy Hockey Central, even. But the play-by-play is always shoddy and I absolutely HATE the scoreboard on the screen. It's Godzilla-sized.

Where B&P Screwed Up: I said that Joey MacDonald would be starting for the Isles, and the Newsday article I quoted felt the same way. Yann Denis started instead.

Good win. 10-1-3 in the last 14. This team is red-hot. Next game is at the Center on Thursday night against the Hurricanes. AGAIN!

Go Flyers.