By Eric Hornick
Philadelphia 6, Islanders 1
Jeff Carter and Chris Pronger each scored twice as the Flyers handed the Islanders their fourth straight loss with a 6-1 victory at the recently-renamed Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves, several of the spectacular variety in the victory for the Flyers as he improves to 5-2-0. The Flyers maintain their share of first place; they're tied with the Penguins (13 points).
Behind the Eight Ball Early
Kimmo Timonen's goal just 2:36 into play gave the Flyers the early lead and Carter doubled the advantage late in the period with the first of his two goals. It's the fourth straight game that the Isles have allowed the first goal and the Isles are 0-4-2 this season when allowing the opening goal.
A Flyer Second
With one notable exception, the Flyers dominated the scoreboard in the second period, scoring four goals. Carter's 2nd goal of the evening made it 3-0 just 2:55 into the second. Chris Pronger scored two power play goals 4:49 apart, sandwiching a Frans Nielsen 3-on-5 penalty shot goal. Andreas Nodl scored the other middle session goal for the Flyers.
Nielsen Converts on a Penalty Shot
Midway through the second period, Trent Hunter was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding Andrej Meszaros in center ice. Rick DiPietro was also assessed a minor penalty for leaving the crease, setting up a 2–minute 5-on-3.
Nielsen broke up the power play, was hooked by Chris Pronger, and awarded a penalty shot. Using his patented shootout move, Nielsen:
· converted the first attempt of his career,
· became the first Islander to score on a penalty shot in Philadelphia (Benoit Hogue had one at the Coliseum vs. the Flyers in 1995),
· became the first Islander to score on a penalty shot since Ryan Smyth did so in Montreal on March 13, 2007,
· scored the first 3-on-5 goal for the Isles since April 4, 2008 at Madison Square Garden (Richard Park), and
· scored the first 3-on-5 goal in the NHL this season.
Nielsen was one of three players in the NHL to score on a penalty shot tonight (Ryan Callahan and David Booth were the others); it's the first time that's happened in the NHL since December 29, 2007.
It's only the 2nd time that the Isles have converted on a penalty shot in their last 19 attempts, dating back to a successful try at the Coliseum by Tim Connolly on March 21, 2000.
The third period kept the penalty timekeeper and scorer busy. Zenon Konopka drew 17 penalty minutes and part of his second fight of the evening with Daniel Carcillo. Trevor Gillies received a rare triple-minor and game misconduct a few minutes later. With one minute left, Daniel Briere crosschecked Frans Nielsen off a face-off leading to a brief melee. 6-1 Philadelphia. Final.
Two Games in One
The teams combined for 120 penalty minutes (73 for the Islanders). Three players (Hunter, Gillies and Briere) received game misconducts while Konopka, Carcillo and Nielsen all received ten minute misconducts. Nielsen, who was the victim of Nielsen's cross-check, had not had as much as a minor penalty in the last 33 games. He has drawn only 12 minors in 176 previous NHL games.
Rick DiPietro made 23 saves as the Isles allowed six goals for the first time this season.
Carter finished with two goals and an assist. He has 38 points (17-21-38) in 34 games against the Islanders, including six game-winning goals.
Who Turned Off the Power?
The Isles lose for the second straight night and were 0-6 on the power play in each game. Officially, the Flyers were 2-7 on the power play, with Pronger recording both goals. Pronger now has scored twice in a game 15 times; this was the 6th time in his career that he did so with a pair of power play tallies.
In the Circle
The Isles lost 38 of 69 draws (45%). Zenon Konopka won 9 of 14 (65%) while John Tavares won 12 of 20 (60%).
Nine Down, Six to Go
This was the ninth game in a 15 game stretch that finds the Islanders playing 12 on the road and only three at home. They are now 3-5-1 in the first nine games. Two games remain on the current road trip; the Isles will host the Flyers next Saturday, before heading to California for three games to complete this stretch.
Mark Streit, Kyle Okposo and Andrew MacDonald remain out for extended periods; Rob Schremp, who played for the Sound Tigers on Friday, could be ready to return to the Isles on Wednesday. Michael Grabner missed his third game with a groin injury while Milan Jurcina missed his first with a hamstring injury suffered Friday.
Season Series Stats
The Flyers lead the season series 1 game to none. The teams will play at the Coliseum next Saturday. The Isles are 0-10-1 in their last 11 visits to the City of Brotherly Love since a 4-2 win on the penultimate day of the 2006-07 season set up an Easter Epic finish in New Jersey the following day. Their only point came in an overtime loss two years ago to the day; Jeff Carter's extra session goal gave Martin Biron, then with the Flyers, the victory.
Overall, the Isles are 1-13-3 in their last 17 games against the Flyers.
You Saw it on MSG+
The Flyers' now-eleven game home winning streak against the Isles is three games shy of the longest current streak in the NHL. Nashville has beaten Columbus and Minnesota has defeated Edmonton 14 straight times.
One year ago (October 30, 2009), Mark Streit scored in overtime to give the Islanders a win over Washington.
This was the second of 20 sets of back-to-backs for the Isles this season. (Only Buffalo (22) and Carolina (21) have more.) The Isles are 0-1-1 on the front end and 1-1-0 on the back end. Their next two games will also be played as a back-to-back.
Tough Road Foes
Five of the Islanders' first seven road opponents were in first place when they faced the Islanders.
Out With October
The Isles finish October 4-5-2. They were 4-4-5 last October.
400 For Radek
Radek Martinek became the 12th defensemen and 35th player overall to appear in 400 games as an Islander. You probably knew that Denis Potvin (1,060) has played in more games than any other Islander defensemen. But did you know that Stefan Persson (622) was second?
Wednesday, November 3rd- Islanders @ Carolina Hurricanes 7:00pm
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm), WRHU 88.7FM]
The Islanders begin their third set of back-to-backs when they face Carolina on Wednesday night in Raleigh. The teams split four games last season, with the Isles earning both a shootout win and an overtime win.
The Islanders will get their first look at Jeff Skinner, who is now the youngest player in the National Hockey League.
The Hurricanes were blanked 3-0 at home on Saturday by Pittsburgh; they finished October with a 5-5-0 record. The 'Canes will be in Philadelphia on Monday before welcoming the Isles.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources.