Written by: Eric Conway
The Islanders lost their third consecutive game last night by a score of 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers. The latest loss makes the Isles victims in 14 of their last 17 games. The Islanders battled hard with the Flyers for the first two periods leading 2-1 going into the second intermission. Two power play goals by the Flyers in the third period secured the victory over the struggling Islanders.
The winning goal was recorded by Simon Gagne, who has scored in each of his last three games. The goal came by way of a power play thanks in part to a bonehead penalty taken by recent call-up Trevor Gillies. Can someone please explain to me what this guy was doing on the ice in a tie game with seven minutes remaining in regulation? He is 31 years old and a notorious figher in the minor leagues, playing in only his third NHL game. The penalty opened the door for the Flyers and they capitalized. It was not a snipe by any means, as Gagne attempted to pass it across to teammate Mike Richards standing at the doorstep. The puck luckily deflected off Mark Streit’s stick and past Dwayne Roloson with 6:06 remaining in the third period.
Soon to be free agent (cough Garth Snow try and sign this guy) Jeff Carter, scored his 31st goal of the season off a beautiful feed from Danny Briere. The game was nodded up by Claude Giroux who snuck a pretty backhander past a sprawling Roloson.
The Islanders offense was provided by Kyle Okposo who fired a laser right under the crossbar and surprise surprise John Tavares. Tavares’ goal was his 18th of the season and snapped his 17 game slump without a goal. Even though it was not a particularly pretty goal, it was a goal nonetheless and can hopefully give the kid some much needed confidence as the season winds down for the Islanders.
The Flyers have now beat the Islanders 15 straight times, the longest current streak in the NHL of one team against another. The all-time streak for one team beating another is owned by the Boston Bruins, as they dominated the Ottawa Senators for 17 straight games in the mid 90s.
Robbie Schremp suffered a right knee injury and will be evaluated by team doctors on Wednesday.
Overall, the Isles did some good things out there against a much bigger Flyers team. They held their own for two periods before the Flyers were able to make a comeback thanks to two power play goals in the third. Once again Roloson did everything he could to get the Islanders a victory. The Islanders will play host to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night where they will battle with U.S. Olympians Erik Johnson and David Backes. I really like the Blues this season. They are 6 points out of the last playoff spot in the west so expect them to come out hungry. Keep an eye out for University of Michigan product TJ Oshie. This kid can do it all.