The New York Islanders played a stronger game, but a late third period goal by Andreas Nodl gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win at the Nassau Coliseum Saturday night.
Sergei Bobrovsky made31 saves to earn the victory for Philadelphia while Mike Richards scored the first Flyers goal. Matt Moulson potted the only Islander goal of the night.
The Flyers increased their winning streak to six games while the Isles dropped their seventh straight contest.
Despite the loss, Isles Coach Scott Gordon was improved play from his team. “I have no complaints about the effort the last two games,” Gordon said. “We were more competitive, and we’re getting closer to the way we were playing earlier this season.”
The game was a physical one, but did not devolve into a fight-filled contest like last week’s meeting in Philadelphia. The teams totaled only 16 minutes in penalties tonight although there were plenty of hard checks and the occasional pushing and shoving after the whistle.
The Flyers dominated the early going, taking seven of the first eight shots on goal, but strong play by Isles goalie Dwayne Roloson kept Philadelphia off the scoreboard. The Isles picked up the pace later in the period after picking up a few power plays, but Bobrovsky did his job well and kept the home team off the scoreboard.
Late in the first period, Richards broke the scoreless tie when he redirected a shot by defenseman Chris Pronger from the right point with just 1:08 remaining in the opening period.
The Flyers dominated one particular area of the game: blocked shots. They had 26 blocks while the Isles were credited with only nine. The biggest block of the game was made by defenseman Matt Carle who used his stick to stop a shot by Matt Moulson late in the first period.
Moulson seemed to have an open net to shoot at.
The Islanders picked up their play in the second period, outshooting the Flyers 14-5. Moulson scored on the power play at the 7:31 mark off a pass from James Wisniewski to even the score at 1-1. The Isles leading goal scorer let his shot go from the bottom of the left circle.
The game winning goal came with 5:25 left in regulation. Eric Wellwood’s shot hit Roloson square in the mask and Nodl put the rebound into the net.
“I was driving to the net, and it hit my stick and I put it in there,” Nodl said.
“It was a high shot off my mask and unfortunately, it landed at my feet,” Roloson said. “They were right there to tap it in.”
The Islanders pulled Roloson for an extra skater with 90 seconds left in the game. The Isles had a further advantage after Bobrovsky was called for delay of game when he cleared the puck directly over the glass and out of play. The Isles had several chances to even the score but couldn’t find the tying goal.
Veteran leaders like Roloson tried to point to positives after a solid effort tonight. “We’re definitely on the upside of the valley,” the goalie explained. “If we keep playing the way we did tonight, we’re going to win most games.”
The Islanders have played only played five home games out of 14 regular season contests. They now head west for a three game West Coast swing that begins Wednesday night in Anaheim.
P.A. Parenteau was a healthy scratch for the Islanders as Trent Hunter returned to the lineup.
Defenseman James Wisniewski was named as the Isles Player of the Month for October.
The Islanders dominated from the faceoff circle, winning 37 of 54 draws. Frans Nielsen was a perfect 12-for-12 to lead the way for the Isles.