-- Hoping to get more offense from his slumping top two lines, Philadelphia Flyers
coach Peter Laviolette shook them up Saturday, and the change worked on two first-period goals in a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders
and Scott Hartnell
scored for the Flyers, while Ray Emery made 31 saves. Josh Bailey
scored for the Islanders, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 30 shots. Philadelphia has now taken 14 straight games in the season series, the longest current winning streak between NHL teams.
Laviolette gave a new assignment to versatile forward Darroll Powe, who had been alternating between centering the third line and playing right wing on a line centered by Mike Richards with Simon Gagne at left wing. Hartnell had been playing left wing on a line centered by Jeff Carter with Briere at right wing.
Hartnell went to left wing, his off wing, with Richards and Gagne, while Powe skated on left wing on the line with Carter and Briere.
"We've had success in the past, Scotty and I," Richards said. "It's nice to have a big, rugged winger who's going to finish his checks. His hands are underrated a lot and he makes good plays. He showed it tonight. He had success."
The Flyers scored the first goal for the 16th time in 18 games when Briere picked up a puck behind the Islanders' net and stuffed it past Dwayne Roloson's right side at 8:22. Carter won a defensive-zone faceoff, Powe carried the puck the length of the ice behind the Islanders' net and Briere came from the left side to gather the puck and shoot.
"This is a wake-up call, things are not working anymore," Briere said of the line changes. "We have to switch it up. So get back on your game, find a way to make it work. It's kind of a message that's sent to the top two lines where the changes occur."
Both coaches agreed that Philadelphia's first-period edge in play was critical to the outcome.
"I thought we came out and played a strong first period, probably our strongest, and the third period was better than the second," Laviolette said. "I guess the biggest concern I have is with the second period. We were just kind of flat shift after shift, and there's too much at stake."
"It was a good effort," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "We had a slow start in the first period. They had power plays but I thought we were the better team in the second and third periods."
Philadelphia went up 2-0 on a power-play goal at 17:12 when Hartnell redirected Richards' pass from the blue line past Roloson's left side. Hartnell had attempted to pass from behind the Islanders' goal to Gagne in front of the crease. The puck tipped off Gagne's stick back to Richards. With the Islanders converging in front to block Richards' expected shot, the center, playing the right point on the power play, shot toward Hartnell.
"My shooting's not very good right now," Richards said. "'Harts' made a good play, soft hands, just tipping it in the net."
"They did that the last time they played us, too," Roloson said. "Give the guy credit who tipped it in, coming from behind the net like that. It was a good play."
For the second time in a week, the trailing referee called off a Flyers goal signaled by the goal-line referee and the visiting team scored the next goal. Last Sunday, Richards' goal that would have given Philadelphia a 2-0 lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins was wiped out by a Simon Gagne penalty. The Penguins tied the game on the power play and went on to win, 2-1.
On Saturday, Kimmo Timonen
's second-period goal at 12:38 that would have given the Flyers a 3-0 lead was wiped out by Hartnell's goaltender interference penalty and the Islanders scored six seconds after the expiration of their power play.
With Richard Park off for hooking, Timonen's shot from the left point went past Roloson's left side. But referee Rob Martell ruled that Hartnell interfered with Roloson. That wiped out the goal and sent Hartnell to the penalty box for goaltender interference.
"The shot was coming. I tried to make the save and the next thing, he ran over me," Roloson said. "I believe it was a good call. (Referee) Kerry (Fraser) said it was a good goal. But obviously he didn't see it and the back guy did. At the end of the day, (Fraser) said it was the right call."
"It was the right call. 'Rollie' couldn't make the save because Hartnell was going into him," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said.
"I disagree with the call," Laviolette said. "I don't want to comment on the refereeing. Next question. I'm frustrated."
Six seconds after the Flyers' penalty expired, Rob Schremp's pass sent Kyle Okposo
down the right wing. Okposo curled toward the net and sent a short pass through the crease that Bailey tapped in for his 13th goal of the season. The Flyers were caught in the middle of a defensive change.
Sean Bergenheim and Hartnell scrapped throughout the game, picking up matching roughing penalties at 17:34 of the second period. Hartnell picked up an additional cross-checking penalty in the scrap that followed Roloson's save on Carter's redirection of a Timonen pass.
Flyers winger Dan Carcillo said it gives the team a big lift when Hartnell plays with an edge.
"Crazy arms! They were definitely going tonight," Carcillo said. "He played well and he played with a lot of energy. When you see him banging bodies like that, it makes you want to go out and one-up him."
The Islanders gave first-string goalie Rick DiPietro
the day off. Former Flyers goalie Marty Biron backed up Roloson.