A few lucky bounces, a few defensive lapses, is all it took for the Islanders to end a 15 game losing streak against the Flyers. The effort on defense for the Flyers was laughable, and yet it seemed they could win this game no matter what the score was. It started with a pair of lucky goals by Blake Comeau. First, off a faceoff, he spins, and sends a shot that should go way over the net. However, as break is moving John Tavares away from the net, his stick gets high, and deflects the puck down and in. Five minutes later, Comeau wraps around the net and tries to pass in front, but his pass hits a Flyers’defenseman and flips over Boucher. Thirty seconds after that, Jon Sim carries the puck towards the offensive zone, and he’s joined by Frans Neilson. Pronger is back on D, and Carle is next to Neilson. Neilson steps past Carle, rather easily, and outraces him to the net. Sim sends the puck to the slot, where Neilson is wide open to tip the puck past Boucher. This is all 7:45 into the game! The Flyers meanwhile, do spend tons of time cycling the puck on offense and generating shots and chances, but don’t manage to score. After one period, it’s 3-0 Isles. At this point, I’m not too worried because the Flyers can score, and NY has terrible defense. And although it seemed like the Flyersspent a lot of time on attack, they got outshot 13-8.
In the second period, Flyers finally cracked through as Asham scored. This came after NY had taken a 4-0 lead, however. Still, I believed the Flyers could come back. On the other hand, Boucher is looking shaky, even if there was nothing he could do on the first 3 goals. The offense is getting chance after chance and spending a ton of time in the Islanders zone. However, when the Isles get on offense, they’re also getting some good chances. And a 4-1 lead after two periods is hard to overcome no matter who the teams are.
And so the third begins. Will we see a great comeback, will we see a flurry of offense by the Flyers? Will we see them play with the desperation of a team hanging onto a playoff spot? Well, the period starts of with Boucher letting in a really easy wrist shot from Trent Hunterand finally getting pulled. I’ve been a fan and supporter of his, but he has severely underperformed. Leightonpissed me off because almost every goal he gave up was his fault. However, he was consistent in that he would only give up a few of those, and the team could overcome it to win. Boucher has given up good and bad goals, at a high rate, and has no been the strong backbone that the team has needed. And so it came time for Jeremy Duchesne to make his NHL debut. The Flyers gave him some support on JVR powerplay goal, that cut the lead to 5-2. It’s a only 4:22 into the third, so it’s not that impossible. But time keeps ticking, with no change in score. with about half the period gone, the Isles get a 3 on 2 rush, and a cross ice pass to Sim ends up in the net, and the lead is back to 4.
Still, the Flyers show some life. They don’t quit, and they keep trying. Briere scores on a wraparound with about five minutes left. Against any other team I don’t think it matters, but I’m dumb enough to believe there’s still a chance. And then Powe scores with 1:09 left, and two goals in the final minute seems plausible. Unfortunately, the Flyers seemed out of gas by that time. After pulling the goalie, they didn’t really threaten again, and the game ended 6-4. Luckily, every team chasing the Flyers in the standings that played yesterday also lost.
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