Flyers Fly Past Islanders In A Record Setting Blowout
The New York Islanders played host to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers in a Presidents Day matinee at the coliseum. For the Islanders, that was probably the highlight.
Today's game was a record setting affair. It was the worst home shut out loss in team history.
The Isles, wearing their black alternate sweaters, went down to defeat at the hands of the Flyers with a final score of 7-0. However, the game probably wasn't even that close. (Photo credit: Flikr/dougtone)
The scoring barrage started a mere 26 seconds into the contest. During the first shift the Flyers skated hard and earned themselves an odd man rush. With a defenseman caught up, Islanders winger Matt Moulson was coming back to help on defense but he let up at the blue line. The result: the lone defenseman back for the Isles took the passer, Matt Read, who had two Flyers to pass to. The pass ultimately went to Flyers captain Claude Giroux who ripped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov to open the scoring.
The Isles fought off a couple of John Tavares penalties and with the help of the goaltending of Nabokov, they were able to escape the first period only down one goal. The damage could have been much worse. Nabokov made several great saves that kept it a one goal game instead of a possible three or four goal period.
The second period started much like the first, only faster. This time it was only 15 seconds in when Read found the back of the net. New York, whose defensive zone coverage was weak and chaotic all day, could not clear the puck out of the zone, nor get to any of the rebounds. The Flyers had three shots on net in the sequence culminating in Read, who was left all alone in front of the Islanders netminder, finally banging the puck into the net.
It wasn't long after this that Matt Martin, after crushing a Flyer in the Philadelphia zone, got into a tussle with Wayne Simmonds. The fight was pretty much a draw, but it seemed to spark the Isles squad, as they had their best two shifts of the game immediately afterwards.
The Isles jump even forced a Daniel Briere holding penalty. Just when it looked like the Islanders might show signs of life, they shot themselves in the foot. Kyle Okposo took a needless crosschecking penalty in his own zone to negate the man advantage and the momentum went with it.
On the ensuing Flyers power play, the Isles had a shorthanded opportunity. Casey Cizikas and Colin McDonald broke in on a two on one break, but the Flyers thwarted that chance and took the puck back the other way, scoring on Claude Giroux's snapshot.
In the third period, the Isles managed to hold of Philadelphia for all of three and a half minutes before giving up another goal. The Flyers Harry Zolnierczyk skated right past Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and drew Nabokov out of the net as he skated past it. Zolnierczyk then backhanded a pass back out in front. Zac Rinaldo shoved Andrew MacDonald out of his way and put the puck into the vacated cage. The score was now 5-0.
It was surprising that Nabokov was not pulled at this point.
Unfortunately for the veteran goalie, the Flyers weren't done scoring. Visnovsky drew an interference penalty at the 8:35 mark to send the Flyers to their fourth power play. On the ensuing man advantage, Sean Courturier found a wide open Briere by the far post to extend Philadelphia's lead to 6-0.
Late in the period, Briere skated in one on one against Visnovsky, and got a bit past him to create a small window that he used to beat Nabokov high to the glove side to finalize the scoring for the game.
For the Islanders, this is easily the worst effort they have put forth so far this season. The lack of effort, combined with lackadaisical defensive zone coverage and speed and hustle from Philadelphia led to this crushing defeat.
To add insult to injury, the Isles lost steady defenseman Brian Strait to a broken ankle when he lost an edge and slid awkwardly into the boards. He will be out 6-8 weeks which puts his season in serious jeopardy. He has already been placed on IR and veteran Radek Martinek has been activated and placed on the active roster. (Photo credit: islanders.nhl.com)
The Islanders look to rebound tomorrow in Ottawa against the Senators. For the Flyers, they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins on Wednesday.
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