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game recap

Jason Chimera sparks Islanders past Flyers

New York continues playoff push with win at Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Islanders can see daylight after the hole they dug themselves into early in the season.

Jason Chimera's second-period goal spurred the Islanders to a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas scored and Thomas Greiss made 33 saves for New York (24-18-10).

The Islanders are 7-1-2 since Doug Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach Jan. 17. They moved within two points of the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. New York has four games in hand on Boston.

 

WATCH: All Islanders vs. Flyers highlights

 

"We're not even thinking about playoffs," Chimera said. "We're just taking one game at a time. [We] don't even know the standings, we know it was a huge game to get us back up there. We dug ourselves a pretty big hole in the first part of the year and we're getting out of it. [A] lot of different people are contributing right now and we just have to keep moving forward."

The Islanders are scoring 3.60 goals per game since Weight took over, after averaging 2.83 per game under Capuano.

"We haven't changed a whole lot," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "Made some adjustments, emphasized a few things and just tried not to give up the middle of the ice in our own zone and try to be in good spots when we create turnovers and to have good puck support and speed coming up the ice. … As players, we're going out there and executing at a higher standard than we were for a good portion of the year."

Chimera batted a bouncing pass by Andrew Ladd past Flyers goalie Steve Mason at 2:13 of the second period to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said he could feel his team sag after the goal.

Video: NYI@PHI: Lee tips Tavares' wrister past Mason for PPG

"There was a swing after that goal," he said. "No question."

Cizikas scored when he backed down Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, spun and beat Mason with a low shot at 1:21 of the third period to make it 3-1.

Wayne Simmonds scored for Philadelphia (26-22-7), which has lost three straight (0-2-1). Mason made 30 saves.

Simmonds' goal was the Flyers' first in 134:56, dating to an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left the third period of their 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 2. They were shut out in their previous two games.

Video: NYI@PHI: Greiss stops Giroux's late one-timer

The Flyers have 13 goals in their past 10 games.

"You have to work for your chances in this league," Simmonds said. "You can't just hope you have to make them happen."

Lee tied the game with a power-play goal at 16:40 of the first period. Tavares was alone in the right circle when he got a diagonal pass from Ryan Strome, and his wrist shot deflected off Lee's stick and past Mason.

 

Goal of the game

Chimera said he played the puck with his backhand because he thought Mason would expect him to pull it to his forehand. "I knew he thought I'd try to pull it over a bit," he said. "Just try to chip it over his pad. Sometimes those work out."

Video: NYI@PHI: Chimera chips a rolling puck past Mason

 

Save of the game

With 13.8 seconds left in the second period, Flyers forward Dale Weise spun in the slot and sent a hard backhand on Greiss, but he got low and used his stick to direct it into the corner.

Video: NYI@PHI: Greiss pads aside Weise's quick backhand

 

Highlight of the game

Cizikas fanned on his first chance on his goal, but stayed with the play and backed down against Gostisbehere like a basketball player in the post.

Video: NYI@PHI: Cizikas slides puck home on second effort

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Islanders blocked a season-high 32 shots on goal, led by five by former Flyers defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

 

They said it

"We dug a big hole in the first 2 1/2 months. That's over. Now it's got to be playoff time for us every game. Got to go into Ottawa, two in the next three nights. Going to have a big test." -- Islanders coach Doug Weight

 

"I thought he worked hard tonight. Thought he moved the puck well and was pretty aggressive with the puck. Thought his play on the power play was solid." -- Flyers coach Dave Hakstol on defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who played after being scratched the previous three games

 

Need to know

With an assist on Lee's goal, Strome extended his point streak to five games. … Simmonds' goal was his first in five games. He leads the Flyers with 22. … Gostisbehere had an assist and was a minus-2 in 20:24 of ice time.

Video: NYI@PHI: Simmonds jams home PPG to open scoring

 

What's next

Islanders: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, CSN-PH, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Greiss, strong defense lead Isles past Flyers, 3-1

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