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Gagne Scores 40th in 4-2 Loss to Islanders

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Philadelphia, PA, April 7) – Simon Gagne scored his 40th goal of the season and 200th in the NHL and as a Flyer, but the New York Islanders defeated Philadelphia at the Wachovia Center on Saturday afternoon, 4-2.

The highlight of the game for Philadelphia came on the power play at 15:13 of the second period. Gagne skated the puck towards the net and lifted a backhand that deflected off of goaltender Wade Dubielewicz and across the goal line to reach the 40-goal plateau for the second consecutive season. He had 47 last year.

Gagne also became the 13th player in club history to reach 200 goals with the Flyers.

Philadelphia cut the lead to 3-2 on Mike Richards' highlight-reel, shorthanded goal with 1:02 remaining, but Tom Poti's power play, empty net tally capped the scoring.

"I thought that we were a little tentative early on and then we kind of settled in and played. We just want to see everyone play hard and I thought that everyone did that tonight," said John Stevens.

New York kept its playoff hopes alive with the win, but will need Montreal to lose later on Saturday night to Toronto and will have to beat the Devils on Sunday afternoon.

The Flyers finished the season 2-5-1 against the Islanders with both wins coming at Nassau Coliseum.

New York jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period.

First, a slap shot by Miroslav Satan on the power play at 3:36 of the first period opened the scoring. The Islanders increased that lead with another power play goal at 1:10 of the second, when an Alexei Yashin slap shot overpowered Antero Niittymaki.

"They got two power play goals early which killed the momentum," said Richards. "As the game went on, we got a lot stronger. The two power play goals early killed us."

Niittymaki was unable to control a rebound later in the second period and Richard Park knocked it in midway through the frame to give the Islanders a three-goal cushion.

"I felt better in the second half, but it was 3-0 by then, so there was nothing I could do," said Niittymaki.

The Islanders finished 3-for-9 on the power play while the Flyers were 1-for-2.

Derian Hatcher also reached a milestone, playing in his 1000th career game. Hatcher was honored by the club prior to the game.

Philadelphia closes out its season on Sunday when it hosts the Buffalo Sabres at the Wachovia Center (1:00 p.m., NBC, 610 WIP).

Ben Eager was issued a 10-minute misconduct, game misconduct, and minors for hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct at 16:12 of the third period. … Sami Kapanen left the game and did not return due to a bruised right foot. … Richards and Randy Jones returned to the Flyers lineup. Richards had missed the last seven games with a left shoulder separation while Jones was out the previous three games with a mild shoulder sprain. … Geoff Sanderson, Robert Esche, Denis Hamel and Mike York were healthy scratches. … Philadelphia fell to 9-24-7 at home. … The Flyers are 10-16-7 since the All-Star Break.
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