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Flyers out hustle, out muscle, Islanders in 2-1 win

November 26, 2009

Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner for the Flyers

Despite grabbing the Flyers’ most potent Islander-killer of years past in Martin Biron (12-1-0 against the Islanders), New York still couldn’t beat Philadelphia on Long Island last night.  The Islanders went all of last year without beating Philadelphia, and although Biron was solid in net,  the Islanders didn’t give him much help.  The Isles registered only one shot on goal in the third period that was tied 1-1 until Scott Hartnell’s game-winner at 14:33.  The Islanders had 28 shots throughout the first two periods, but seemed to tire towards the end as the Flyers were able to out-work them to loose pucks. 

“Whenever you’re in a tie game and you’re not giving yourself scoring chances, you put yourself at a disadvantage,” Trent Hunter said.

“Something changed obviously,” Hunter said. “It’s something we’ve got to figure out because it’s unacceptable. You’ve got to be able to close teams out and battle teams for the whole sixty minutes. You can’t go into a shell.”

The night started off well for the Islanders when John Tavares made a sensational cross-ice pass to assist on a power-play goal for Trent Hunter. 
Tavares ripped a pass to connect with Hunter at the left circle, where he fired a one-timer to beat Boucher at 8:05 and give the Islanders their first goal with the man-advantage in five games and 17 attempts.  With the power-play goal, Trent Hunter now has at least one point in each of the last eight games. 

The Flyers tied the game 1-1 with less than a minute to play in the second period on a power-play goal at 19:26.Brendan Witt’s roughing penalty gave the Flyers the man-advantage at 18:03, and a lethal Flyers power-play unit that entered last night’s game ranked 1st in the league, converted on captain Mike Richard’s snapshot for his 10th goal of the season.

Philadelphia then took over the game, as the Islanders struggled to keep the puck out of their own end.  New York dodged plenty of bullets, but Hartnell finally struck with a dagger, as his slapshot beat Biron at 14:33.

Scott Gordon was clearly not pleased after the game. 

“It wasn’t like we gave up a lot defensively,” a fuming Gordon said. “The problem was we didn’t play enough in the offensive zone to maintain what we did over the first and second period.”

“It’s a commitment to do what you need to do, when it needs to be done,” Gordon said. “And if you’re going to continually turn the puck over, it’s going to be jammed down your throat.”

With the loss, the Islanders snapped their 4-game home winning streak.  They haven’t defeated the Flyers since February 12, 2008.  Ouch. 

The Islanders resume play Friday afternoon against the Penguins.  Game time is 2pm.

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