16 March 2012
Coming off two straight painful losses with blown leads late in the third, the Islanders playoff hopes looked bleak, but that doesn’t mean they were gonna stop trying to win games. Last night the Islanders came out head to head with the Flyers, but luck was on the Flyers’ side last night, as Rinaldo skated into the corner, put it on net and just happened to find a very small hole in Nabokov’s positioning to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
Later in the period, Jaromir Jagr would completely outwork, Islander captain, Mark Streit and find partner Claude Giroux all alone in the slot. Giroux would fire a one-timer right past Nabokov and make it 2-0. The lead would hold up through the first, and in a period where the Islanders were staying with the opposition, the concluding of opportunities is what allowed one team to be in the lead, and the other to be trailing.
There wouldn’t be too much difference in the second, as most of it was spent battling back and forth, until Scott Hartnell got loose on a breakaway and fired a perfect shot right over Nabokov’s glove to make it 3-0. It seemed like a 5th straight loss would be inevitable, and then the third period started.
Unlike the usual events, this time it was the Islanders making a comeback as Michael Grabner finally got one past the stone wall now known as Ilya Bryzgalov, who set the Flyer record for most minutes without letting up a goal last night, as he deflected a shot from the point right past him. Only 35 seconds later, it was Mark Streit outbattling the opposition, putting it in front, where John Tavares fired it in for his 31st of the season and 70th point, the first Islander to reach the amount since Alexei Yashin did it 10 years ago.
The comeback would end there however, as no matter what the Islanders tried with the extra skater, they just couldn’t get that third one past Bryzgalov.
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