PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) — The Philadelphia Flyers did all their
damage against the New York Islanders in quick bursts Saturday.
Simon Gagne’s penalty-shot goal with 9:47 remaining in the third
period put the finishing touches on the Flyers’ 5-1 rout of the
Gagne’s goal, his 22nd of the season, capped a stretch in which
the Flyers erupted for three goals in a 67-second span after the
Islanders had closed within 2-1.
In the first period, rookie Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell
scored 44 seconds for the Flyers, whose five goals came in a
combined elapsed time of 1:51.
“I thought Giroux was having a really good game,” Flyers coach
John Stevens said. “I thought the Giroux line was great. We
tried to spread those guys around a little bit and get other
lines going. It seemed to work.”
Defenseman Matt Carle and Arron Asham registered Philadelphia’s
third and fourth goals 13 seconds apart after Andy Hilbert
pulled the Islanders within 2-1 at 6:15 of the final period.
Martin Biron continued his mastery of the Islanders, stopping 38
shots in his first start since February 4. He spelled Antero
Niittymaki, who is battling the flu and allowed five goals on
just 23 shots in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Ottawa.
“I though Marty was solid,” Stevens said. “Early on in the
first period, they threw a lot of pucks at him. On their power
play, they just kept throwing pucks at the net, and he was
solid. In the second period, we got a bit sloppy, but Marty
looked good. He looked square to the puck and his balance
looked good. It seemed like his confidence is back.”
Biron extended his winning streak against New York to 10 games,
matching Hall of Famer Ken Dryden for the most consecutive wins
by a goaltender against the Islanders.
“I wanted to take this game and really work hard,” Biron said.
“I came in this morning and I was really fired up. You want to
have a little bit of fire inside of you, and I had that out
Philadelphia has won all four meetings with New York this season
while extending its winning streak in the series to eight games.
The Flyers also have won seven in a row at the Wachovia Center.
“I just don’t think that we were ready to play,” New York coach
Scott Gordon said. “We weren’t very sharp at the beginning of
the game, and it took a few shifts to get our legs under us.”
The Flyers threatened to blow out the Islanders early, opening a
2-0 lead just 5:44 into the contest.
“We looked at this weekend as a chance for us to get some wins
and play some division opponents,” Biron said. “We really like
to play opponents like the Islanders and the Rangers (who host
the Flyers on Sunday). I was excited about this weekend. I got
fired up at the beginning of the game and the guys gave me a
nice cushion going up 2-0.”
The Islanders settled down and halved the deficit on Hilbert’s
goal, but Carle began the Flyers’ late barrage at 9:10.
“We came out strong in the first period and we didn’t give up
too much defensively,” Flyers left wing Scottie Upshall said.
“I thought we saw a really good Islander team for about 12
minutes in the second period, and if Marty didn’t make a couple
of big saves, they would have been right in it.”
Yann Danis recorded 29 saves for the Islanders, who have lost
four straight following a season-high four-game winning streak.
“The first minutes, we definitely came out slowly,” Gordon said.
“By the end of the first, I thought we had re-established
ourselves. We had a lot of scoring chances; the shots were
17-16. We were down 2-0 in the last 10 minutes of the game. It
was a 2-1 hockey game, and we were right there.”