Point Taken, Point Given Away - Islanders/ Flyers Post Game
The Philadelphia Flyers love playing against the New York Islanders.
For the 22nd time in 23 meetings the Flyers came away with two points, erasing a 3-1 deficit, and defeated the Islanders 4-3 in overtime.
Danny Briere scored his second goal of the game with 2:26 remaining in overtime, seconds after the Flyers killed a rare overtime penalty.
Most of the crowd of 11,086 wasn’t in their seats when Andrej Meszaros scored 18 seconds into the game.
Kyle Okposo tied the game 1-1 19 seconds after Meszaros scored snapping a wrist shot over the right pad of Ilya Bryzgalov. It was Okposo’s first goal of the season and the Isles’ 1st goal in three game.
Okposo wasn’t done for the night. After a beautiful feed from Josh Bailey he was able to slide the puck into the gaping net to give the Isles a rare 2-1 lead against the Flyers. Michael Grabner got in on the scoring explosion late in the first period, snapping a wrist shot past Bryzgalov for a three goal 1st period and free chili was to be had by all.
P.A. Parenteau cemented a great 1st period, checking Isles fan-favorite Max Talbot into the boards, earning worldwide twitter fame and a two minute ‘head check’ penalty.
Former Islanders coach Peter Laviolette saw enough of Bryzgalov and brought in last season’s Islanders slayer Sergei Bobrovsky before the start of the second period. He was sensational in goal, stopping all 23 shots he saw, including a John Tavares breakaway and a scrum in overtime that led to the Flyers game winning goal.
Scott Hartnell took advantage of a fortunate carom off the boards and from a sharp angle roofed the puck past Dipitero to bring the Flyers within 3-2, and their fans in attendance to their feet.
Nursing a one goal lead late in the third period, the end boards were again kind to the visitors. After the puck took a strange bounce, off the boards and Dipitero’s glove, Briere made no mistake with the puck and the Flyers tied the game at 3.
Both teams played cautiously thereafter and the game was headed to overtime, both teams guaranteed a point.
The Isles’ finally had a call go their way in overtime as Hartnell went to the box for hooking. Talbot and Coburn, and the Isles’ reluctance to shoot the puck erased the man advantage. 13 seconds later it was Briere and the Flyers celebrating a huge come from behind 4-3 win on the road.
If the Islanders can bring the same intensity they brought in the 1st two periods, they will be very successful short and long term. All four lines were clicking and playing with passion. P.A Parenteau and John Tavares mixed it up and even Mark Streit was playing the body.
Kyle Okposo played with a chip on his shoulder tonight and looked like the power forward this team desperately needs.
Michael Grabner had three points (goal, 2 assists) and looked like the player that had 34 goals for the Isles’ in 2010-11. He continues to shine on the penalty kill, though he is lacking that burst of speed like last season which lead to a lot of shorthanded opportunities and goals.
They finally played with purpose. In the past games against the Bruins and Penguins, the Islanders seemed scared and in awe of their opponents. Tonight they were more aggressive and played to their strengths. The first line did a great job cycling the puck and keep the Flyers defensive on their toes. Although the third period they started to puck watch, without an unfortunate bounce going the Flyers way, they worked hard enough throughout. The Flyers have their number to say the least. However this was one of the first games in recent history where they looked like they belonged on the same ice as the Flyers.
Photo by Cassie Madonia used with permission
If Rick Dipitero is healthy, he has to be better then this. A .885 save percentage doesn’t get it done in the National Hockey League. Bringing up the contract is a mute point as he will never live up to it. Islanders fans just want a goalie that they can be confident in. He never looks ready to play and with that a lot of first shots seem to hit the back of the net. The league has also figured out that he is dropping down early and you can beat him up high. All four goals the Flyers scored tonight were over his shoulders. Al Montoya returns from injury this Friday and hopefully will given an opportunity to earn a couple starts. The constant cat calls for Dipitero do not go unwarranted. It’s not the 15 year contract anymore, it’s making the routine saves and not making every dump in an adventure.
After taking a 3-1 lead, the Islanders looked like they tightened up. The third period was a brief revert to the team that was on the ice against the Bruins and Penguins. Seven shots, none that really tested Bobrovsky, in the third period is not good enough with only a one goal lead.
Steve Staios takes too many penalties. Each game he seems to take a penalty that leads to a power play goal for their opponents. He needs to keep his stick down and stay out of the box. The isles’ have enough problems on defense without having one of them constantly in the box.
Michael Haley’s return to the lineup came with a lot of pomp and circumstance. He was going to bring the team much needed toughness and grit. One game is a small sample set, but eight shifts totaling 5:09 ice time, didn’t change the game, or the Isles’ play.
All in all, a tough way to lose after having a golden opportunity to get a massive two points against a division rival. The schedule isn’t kind as after a quick Thanksgiving day off, they return Friday afternoon to play the New Jersey Devils and another Ilya.
Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving, see you next time!