Better With Popcorn

Flyers Can't Hold Lead; Lose to Islanders In Shoot-Out

Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.

The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.

"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."

Scott Hartnell snapped out of his funk to get the Flyers on the board first.

While on the power play, Hartnell one-timed a pass from Claude Giroux passed an already down Evgeni Nabokov. Hartnell didn't get all of his shot, but it got through anyway, giving the Flyers the 1-0 lead.

Hartnell has just one goal in the last 11 games leading up to tonight. He then added a fight only a couple minutes later, squaring up with Colin McDonald to provide the team with an extra spark.

The Flyers got a late goal in the period to go up 2-0. The goal was also set up by Giroux.

Skating in on a 2-on-1, Giroux passed the puck over the lowered stick of Lubomir Visnovsky, connecting with a wide up Mike Knuble. Knuble switched to the back-hand and beat and already defeated Nabokov to make it a 2-0 game.

The Flyers nearly coughed up a late goal at the end of the first period.

After killing off a power play with 19 seconds left, the Islanders kept the pressure going for the duration of the period. But as time expired, Frans Nielson fired a puck on net that squeezed through the legs of Ilya Bryzgalov. 

Fortunately for the Flyers, the clock had already expired when the puck crossed the goal line.

The final minute of the second was fortuitous for the Islanders the second time around. They got one back late in the period, beating Bryzgalov on a bad bounce to cut the lead, 2-1.

John Tavares threw the puck towards the net, intending to connect with Brad Boyes. Instead the puck was deflected off of Luke Schenn and then off the skate of Erik Gustafsson and into the net to beat Bryzgalov.

Braydon Coburn left the game after the second period and did not return with an upper body injury. 

"When you take a big horse like that out of the lineup, you're gonna miss his minutes for sure," Laviolette said.

He is the third defenseman to go down in the past week. Nicklas Grossmann was lost prior to their game on Sunday against Pittsburgh and Andrej Meszaros was hurt at the end of Tuesday's game against the Rangers.

The Flyers were left floundering the entire third period thanks to being down a man at the blue line. They finally paid for it at the midway point.

McDonald took a pass from Keith Acoin and wristed it passed Bryzgalov to tie the game up, 2-2.

McDonald kept the heroics going. With 4:23, Matt Martin sent a pass over to McDonald, whose point blast deflected off of Bruno Gervais to make it a 3-2 game and seal the comeback win.

The Flyers power play had some magic left in their tank. With under two minutes to play, Nielsen got called for a face off violation and put the Flyers on the 6-on-4 advantage with Bryzgalov pulled.

After a mad scramble in front of Nabokov, it was Hartnell who came away with the game-tying goal off the rebound. It was his second goal of the night, both coming off the power play.

New York continued the heavy pressure throughout the over time period, but the Flyers hung on to force the shoot-out.

The shoot-out went to four rounds with Boyes earning the deciding goal for New York to complete the comeback.


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