|Final - 11.25.2009||1||2||3||Total|
|New York Islanders||1||0||0||1|
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The losing streak is finally over. It probably shouldn't be, but it is.
Yep, the Philadelphia Flyers squeaked one out tonight on Long Island, beating Martin Biron and the host Islanders 2-1. They were able to pick up the 'W' thanks to a strong third period in which they only allowed one shot on goal. Keeping the play in the Isles end for just about the entire twenty minutes was a necessity, given the sad performance they showed in the first forty.
With the exception of a select few, the Flyers drifted through most of this one like a log in the Delaware River, and they looked as alive as a fish in the Schuylkill. Trent Hunter gave New York the lead about eight minutes in as the Islanders fired toward Brian Boucher at will. Boosh had to make 17 saves in the first period alone -- the only reason the Flyers were even in this one to begin with.
The second period dragged on in similar fashion to the first, with the Isles controlling the play and the Flyers not putting up much of a fight. But at the end of the second, a Brendan Witt roughing penalty gave Philadelphia their first man advantage of the game, one they didn't let fall by the wayside.
Claude Giroux took the puck just above the faceoff circle, waited a second, and fed Mike Richards back door along the goal line for an angle drive that could've put a hole in the back of the net. Isles' goalie Marty Biron didn't even have time to realize Richards was sneaking to his glove side, let alone have time to react to the blistering shot. The goal was the drastic momentum shift the Flyers needed as they headed to the dressing room and prepped for the third.
The third was all Flyers, but they didn't put the game-winner behind Biron until the latter portion of the period. With about five minutes left, Jeff Carter sped down the left wing, and with two Islanders' pressuring him, he somehow threaded a pass through them both, cross-ice, to the trailing Scott Hartnell. Hartnell's one-time blast tipped off Witt's stick just enough to fool Biron and give the Flyers the lead.
Given the way the orange and black played throughout the first two periods, the Islanders probably should have put them away. Instead, they'll head back to Philly for the first time in over a week, take Boucher out for a round of beers, and put this losing streak in the history books.
After the jump, we'll have a few more thoughts on this one, answer our pregame questions, watch some highlights, and hand out a comment of the night.
Some assorted thoughts...
- Did the Flyers fly home from New York? Their official Twitter feed reported around midnight: "Touchdown in Philly. Practice tomorrow at 10:30." Someone tell them its only a two hour train ride.
- Boucher made up for any bad feelings we may have had toward him early in the season. I've said it already but I'll say it again -- he won this one tonight.
- It's weird seeing Marty Biron in Islander orange, especially since he has the same pads as he did with the Flyers.
- Poor Brendan Witt. With the penalty leading to the first Flyers goal and the deflection causing the second, it seems he was as important as Boucher in the orange and black sealing this win.
- Claude Giroux had another fantastic game tonight.
- Ian Laperriere did, too. He got in two fights in the first period as he tried to spark the team.
- Despite the win, the Flyers still can't seem to put in a 60 minute effort. Unacceptable.
- Richards and Carter took over the game in the third period. There was a determination there that we be extremely hard to beat, if we could only see it every minute of every game.
- Isles coach Scott Gordon looked pissed after the game in his post-game presser. Here's the video. Stay with it the whole time.
- The Islanders haven't defeated the Flyers in almost two years -- since February of 2008.
Questions With Answers
- Can Pronger and Matt Carle shut down Tavares and the Isles' top-line? I thought they did a decent job. Their top-line scored their only goal, and it was mostly Boucher doing the containing throughout the night, but Tavares and Company didn't embarrass anybody or anything.
- Will the Flyers be able to take advantage of knowing Martin Biron's weaknesses? Not really. Most of the shots they put on him were pretty weak, actually.
- The Isles take 4.25 minor penalties per game, on average. That's about middle of the pack in the league, but the Flyers PP should get some chances tonight. Can they take advantage against a PK that's also average? The PP goal they got at the end of the second was the key to the game, it turns out. It completely shifted the momentum. But as for the question, its tough to say considering there was only one PP on the night.
- Is Kimmo Timonen hurt? He didn't play in the third on Monday night, but the Flyers haven't said anything about his absence. Any indications tonight that something is wrong? Nope, he played 20 minutes.
- Ice time for Riley Cote? 5:38. Movin' on up...
Comment of the Night