Better With Popcorn

Flyers start the month off right with 6-3 trampling of Isles

Regardless of the sport, no team ever wants to play from behind. For the Philadelphia Flyers, playing from behind has become common place.

Prior to Thursday night’s game against the New York Islanders, the Flyers had allowed their opponents to score the first goal in eight consecutive games.

Against the Islanders, they extended it to nine.

While the game may not have started the way the team hoped it would, they eventually found their footing and settled in.

The result was an offensive explosion that fueled an impressive 6-3 win.

Philadelphia’s start to the game left more than to be desired.

“We didn’t come out the way that we wanted to come out,” Kimmo Timonen said. We want to win big games, we can’t be down all the time. We have to fix that.”

Sloppy play in their own zone, allowed the visiting team to establish extended attacks in the Philadelphia end. The team’s lacxsadasical play forced head coach Peter Laviolette to call a timeout a little under five minutes into the game.

“I think he probably leads the league as a coach in the NHL with time outs in the first 3 minutes of a game,” Scott Hartnell said. “His point was pretty clear; if you're not playing you're not going to play.”

It seemed to do the trick.

On the team’s first shift off the timeout, players came out hitting and had a jump in their step. They began to engage in puck battles and generated chances.

Moments later, Matt Read deflected an Andrej Meszaros shot from the point, which knotted the game at one.

Before the first period came to a close, Meszaros added a goal of his own when he attempted another shot from the point, which bounced off the post, hit off Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and went into the net.

With the Flyers ending the period with a head full of steam it appeared as though the team was ready to trample the Islanders.

However, it wasn’t that easy.

At the start of the second, the Islanders knotted the game at two, when Josh Bailey added his second goal of the game. The goal came just 50 seconds into the period.

With the game back at square one, the Flyers regressed back into some of their bad habits from the first.

By the midpoint of the period, the miscues became a distant memory as the team reestablished their lead and then quickly added to it.

Jaromir Jagr put the Flyers ahead with a wraparound goal that squeezed through Nabokov’s legs. Read struck again 39 seconds later when he added his second goal of the game.

It wasn’t the team’s only quick goal of the night.

At the opening of the third, Hartnell put the team up by three when he scored a goal 67 seconds into the period.

The Islanders ended up adding another goal to their total but it proved to be inconsequential. After Sean Couturier added an empty net goal, the final score was solidified.

It was the team’s first home win since February 16.

While the win may have come against a lowly opponent, the Flyers offense showed up and displayed their strengths. In addition, Ilya Bryzgalov built off of his strong performance on Tuesday night and put together another solid effort.

Ultimately, the team won at home game and beat a division opponent.

Not a bad way to start of the final full month of the regular season.

--

Follow me on Twitter (@mattbrigidi) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: mattbrigidi@thecheckingline.com