Official Scoresheet | Official Super Stats
By Jason Lockhart
The Islanders won a 4-3 battle against the last-place Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center Saturday afternoon on an Andy Hilbert game-breaking goal in the closing minutes of the third period.
"I was just trying to get to the net," said Hilbert. "Bergeron made a good pass. It's probably the biggest goal I've scored in my NHL career. I was really excited to help the team."
Tied after each period, the Islanders had to fight off a resilient, young Flyers team that played hard for 60 minutes.
"The intensity was there tonight," said Hilbert. "We knew it wasn't going to be an easy one. They're a hard working team."
Rick DiPietro earned the win, making 18 saves and contributing on the scoresheet with an assist on the Islanders' power play goal. Richard Park, Randy Robitaille and Jason Blake also scored for the Islanders, who have now won two games in a row following a four-game skid.
For the Flyers, Martin Biron made 30 saves, but picked up the loss.
Park tallied his second goal in three games to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead, 3:44 into the first period. Viktor Kozlov battled in front of the net, before Park chipped it home for his seventh goal of the season.
Jeff Carter scored with 42 seconds remaining in the period off a bank shot to tie the game at one.
The Flyers took their first lead of the game when defenseman Randy Jones made a nice delay to get DiPietro down, before lofting a backhand into the open side at 3:17 of the second period for a 2-1 Flyers lead.
The middle of the second period was action-packed and filled with odd-man rushes.
The Flyers' first power play of the second period turned into a run-and-gun two minutes of play. The best opportunity went to Trent Hunter, who broke in all alone. His backhander was denied by the right pad of Biron to keep it a 2-1 Flyers advantage.
On the Islanders' power play a few minutes later, DiPietro came up big twice. First he stoned Simon Gagne on breakaway before starting the breakout for the Islanders' second goal. DiPietro head manned the puck up to center ice to Alexei Yashin, who touched it over to Robitaille for a breakaway. Robitaille scored his 11th goal of the season with a wrist through Biron's five-hole.
The Flyers got it right back 17 seconds later when Ben Eager scored off a rebound to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead.
Jason Blake got the equalizer with 1:14 left in the second period. After making a number of moves in front of the net, Blake lifted a forehand over Biron for his 37th goal of the season.
The Islanders took a 4-3 lead with only 4:40 remaining in the third period. Marc-Andre Bergeron busted down the right wing before throwing a backhand pass in front to Hilbert, who tipped it home for his eighth goal of the season.
The Islanders next take on the NY Rangers at home tomorrow in a 12:30 matinee game at the Nassau Coliseum.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Andy Hilbert: Scored the clincher in the final five minutes, 4 shots
2. Viktor Kozlov: Another strong effort, dominant in the offensive zone, 2 assists
3. Simon Gagne: Two assists in the losing effort
4. Marc-Andre Bergeron: A strong move set up the game-winner, 6 shots
5. Jeff Carter: One goal and an assist
Stat of the Game: The Islanders out-shot the Flyers 34-21.
Slapshots: Rick DiPietro is 5-0-0 against the Flyers this season. He also tied the Islanders' record of 32 wins in a season; also accomplished by Billy Smith and Chris Osgood...Miroslav Satan and Richard Zednik were out of the lineup due to personal reasons. "We're a family-oriented team," said Ted Nolan prior to the game. "Both Satan and Zednik had family issues to tend to and our thoughts are with them."...Bruno Gervais (ankle) was the other scratch...Jeff Tambellini elected to play in last night's Sound Tigers win over Binghamton knowing he would have to play this afternoon in Philadelphia.
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mike Dunham
44 Freddy Meyer - 32 Brendan Witt
6 Sean Hill - 14 Chris Campoli
3 Tom Poti - 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
94 Ryan Smyth - 27 Randy Robitaille - 55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov - 45 Arron Asham
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park - 15 Jeff Tambellini
43 Martin Biron
30 Antero Niittymaki
44 Joni Pitkanen - 28 Lasse Kukkonen
5 Braydon Coburn - 2 Derian Hatcher
23 Denis Gauthier - 6 Randy Jones
12 Simon Gagne - 17 Jeff Carter - 9 Scottie Upshall
15 Stefan Ruzicka - 11 Ryan Potulny 22 Mike Knuble
27 Dimitry Afanasenkov - 20 R.J. Umberger - 24 Sami Kapanen
55 Ben Eager - 33 Riley Cote - 8 Geoff Sanderson