(Philadelphia, PA, November 9) – Alexei Yashin scored two goals and Rick DiPietro made 32 saves as the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Thursday night, 3-1.
Leading 2-0 after the first period, Yashin's second of the game came with 4:07 left in the second, when he fired a laser wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle to make it 3-0.
The Flyers outshot the Islanders 16-6 in the third period, but were only able to score once late in the game when Simon Gagne redirected a pass from Mike Richards at 17:46 on the power play.
Petr Nedved, playing in his first game as a Flyer since being reassigned to the Phantoms on October 19, almost cut that lead to 3-2 when he fired a shot from the slot towards DiPietro's five-hole. The puck squirted through, but came to a stop on the goal line before it was frozen by the Islanders' goaltender with 1:10 left in regulation.
The Flyers registered 33 shots to New York's 20 – the eighth straight game Philadelphia has outshot its opponent.
It was the Flyers' fourth straight loss.
"We start slow and come on at the end, but we need to have that enthusiasm at the end of the game," said Richards.
"We put a big push on in the third period, but why are we in this situation to begin with? That was the message for tonight, the push has to come in the start of the hockey game when we have 60 minutes to something about it," said John Stevens.
New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. First, Yashin poked in the rebound of a shot by Jason Blake at 9:10. Later, Shawn Bates skated in on net and at the last second sent a pass through the slot to Richard Park. Park, a former Phantoms teammate of Stevens, lifted the puck over a fallen Antero Niittymaki at 14:25 for his second goal of the season.
"It is disappointing having a slow start and not getting the first goal," said Sami Kapanen. "There is not a lot of offense right now, but you have to give the guys credit. They stayed with it and tried to make it a game but with the offense right now it is too much too ask."
Niittymaki ended the night with 17 saves.
The second period ended with a scrum at center ice, as Ben Eager fought with New York's Brendan Witt. It was the second fight of the game, as Richards dropped the gloves with Aaron Asham in the first period.
The Flyers remain home for a game on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP). On Monday, Philadelphia begins a four-game road swing in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. The trip also takes them to Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose next week.
FLYERS NOTES This was the first of eight games between the Flyers and Islanders this season, with the next coming on Long Island on November 30. … Randy Robitaille, Boyd Kane, Jeff Carter and Mike Knuble all remained out with injuries. … Philadelphia was 6-2-0 against New York last season.