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Strong Third Period Helps Islanders Get By Flyers, 4-2

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Philadelphia, PA, January 18) – Mike Sillinger and Andy Hilbert each scored third period goals in leading the New York Islanders over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Thursday night, 4-2.


With the game tied 2-2, the eventual game-winning goal came with New York on a two-man advantage with Joni Pitkanen and Derian Hatcher in the penalty box for holding and delay of the game, respectively. Sillinger scored on the rebound of a shot from the faceoff circle by Miroslav Satan at 3:27.

A three-on-two rush by New York made it 4-2, when Hilbert converted on a pass from Chris Campoli.

"Penalties happen during the game and I think our penalty kill has been pretty good, but they scored on the five-on-three and the other one was pretty nice on a redirection," said goaltender Antero Niittymaki.

"I thought after they scored [to make it] 4-2, the air went out of us. We didn't do what we had to do after that, but until that I thought it was a pretty even game, it could gone either way," said Peter Forsberg.

The loss was Philadelphia's sixth in a row and ninth straight at home.

The teams each scored twice through two periods of play.

New York opened the scoring when former Flyer Randy Robitaille got to a puck that deflected off of Hatcher after Satan threw it towards the net. The goal at 8:16 was the only one of the first period.

Philadelphia had a couple of good scoring chances before the first intermission, but Sami Kapanen had the puck poke-checked away from him by Rick DiPietro on a two-on-one rush, and Mike Knuble rang one off of the post on a rebound attempt.

The Flyers did tie the game eventually, though, on Randy Jones' third goal of the season. DiPietro knocked a loose puck away to the boards, but it deflected to the stick of Jones who ripped a slap shot past the Islanders' goaltender at 3:08.

A couple of power play goals made it a 2-2 game. First, a slap shot by Sean Hill deflected first off of Sillinger and then Jason Blake at 12:58 over the shoulder of Niittymaki. Blake got credit for his 24th goal of the season.

Again, the Flyers responded, when Forsberg controlled the puck and found Simon Gagne to his right on the man advantage at 14:19. Gagne tallied his team-leading 22nd of the season.

On the play, Forsberg registered the 600th assist of his career, an NHL milestone.

The Flyers were 1-for-5 with the man advantage while the Islanders finished the night 2-for-7.

"I thought the fact that we took so many penalties is what caught up to us in the end," said John Stevens.

The game was the fourth of eight in the season series between the two clubs. The Flyers won two of the first three.

Philadelphia had two players return from injury, as Mike Richards and Geoff Sanderson played in the game. Both suffered sports hernias in the same contest on December 9 and had been out of the lineup ever since. It was the healthiest lineup the Flyers had in a long time, as only defenseman Denis Gauthier remains out.

The Flyers have one game remaining before the All-Star break, when they travel to New Jersey to play the Devils on Saturday afternoon (1:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).

FLYERS NOTES
Dmitry Afanasenkov registered his first point as a Flyer on the goal by Jones. … Flyers defenseman Nate Guenin made his NHL debut. … Ryan Potulny was a healthy scratch.
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