24 November 2011
Uniondale, NY -- The Islanders may be thankful for a point out of last night’s game, but some bad bounces are what prevented them from coming away with two points. The Islanders 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was one that stung for everyone involved because it was the best game they’ve played since last Thursday’s victory over the Canadiens.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped six of the nine shots he faced before he was pulled in the second period. His relief, Sergei Bobrovsky, kept the Islanders off the board for the rest of the game stopping all 23 shots he faced.
The game started off with Andrej Meszaros scoring just 18 seconds in for the Flyers to give them the 1-0 lead. But the Islanders Kyle Okposo would respond 19 seconds later scoring on a pass from behind the net from Michael Grabner. Okposo would get his second goal of the game on a tic tac toe play by Grabner and Bailey, giving the Islanders their first lead since last Thursday.
“[Grabner] threaded the needle,” Bailey started off saying about the goal. “There wasn’t much room there and he made a great pass. In that situation everyone commits like I’m gunna shoot. [Okposo] did a good job slamming back door, so it was a nice tic-tac-toe play.”
The Islanders would grab one more goal in the period before all was said and done. Grabner fired a shot from the right hand faceoff circle that beat Bryzgalov and made it a 3-1 Islanders lead. Kyle Okposo received an assist on the play.
The Flyers pick up their play in the second and third periods. They replaced Bryzgalov with Bobrovsky to start the second period as well.
The Flyers capitalized on a Steve Staios tripping penalty early in the second period. Scott Hartnell was on the lucky end of an odd carem that went right to his stick and he roofed over Dipietro to cut the lead to one.
The Flyers would tie the game at the 14:18 mark off another odd carem. Danny Briere dumped the puck into the Islanders zone, it hit off the boards and landed right in front of Dipietro, who had the puck bounce off his glove as he tried to cover it up, and Briere came in front and put the puck into the net to tie the game.
“It just hit the stanchion funny,” Dipietro commented after the game. “Just came right out to Briere on his tape and he didn’t make a mistake with it.”
The Flyer would get the game winner in OT off a Briere wrist shot that beat Dipietro.
The Islanders had the opportunity to win when Scott Hartnell took a hooking call 21 seconds into overtime, but the Islanders could not capitalize on the opportunity.
“I don’t think we challenged [Bobrovsky] enough,” John Tavares said about the OT power play chance. “I don’t think we were as efficient as we’d like to be. We gotta find a way and we definitely need to do better than that.”
Overall many of the guys in the locker room tried to stay positive about the game.
“I think we played a solid game overall,” PA Parenteau said about the game. “We were skating, we were hitting, and we were committed to win the hockey game. I mean a bad bounce on the celebrity news tying goal, in overtime… we should have capitalized on the four on three and that’s on us, but besides that I think it was a solid effort overall.”
“The effort was there tonight and there weren’t many lapses,” added Okposo, who put up three points in the loss. “We got hemmed in our own zone a few times, we hemmed them in a few times, that’s hockey, that’s how the game is suppose to be played and if we play like that every night we’re going to put ourselves in to win hockey games. Now we just gotta work on closing it out.”
The Islanders will take today to give thanks and get a short break from hockey, but they’ll go right back to work on Friday when they host the Devils.
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