Tyler J. Altemose
The Philadelphia Flyers had an astounding record of 18-2 against the New York Islanders over the past three seasons coming into last Saturday’s contest at the Wells Fargo Center. So when the Flyers won that game 6-1 in a bludgeoning of the Isles it came as no surprise to most Flyers fans.
This time it was the Flyers traveling out to Long Island, and things would turn out to be a little different.
Although the Flyers managed to gather their sixth straight win in a 2-1 defeat of the Islanders, the team has its goaltending, defense, and a couple of young stars to thank.
“[For] Nodl to continue coming off of what I thought was his best game when we played the Islanders last when he went down―to come back in and play another strong game for us was, I think, important,” head coach Peter Laviolette said while speaking to the media after the game.” “And Wellwood continues to impress everyone with his speed and hockey sense.”
Lavvy, never one to fix something if it isn’t broken, kept rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in net for his sixth straight start. Forward James Van Riemsdyk, who did a lot of work in the off season to build up his size but hasn’t scored a single goal in 13 games, was the healthy scratch for the night. Danny Briere was also out, serving the last of his three-game suspension for his cross check on Frans Nielsen in last Saturday’s game against the Islanders.
The Islanders controlled the tempo throughout most of the (quiet) first period. With about 8 minutes remaining, defenseman Matt Carle robbed Matt Moulson after Bobrovsky was caught out of position. Captain Mike Richards scored off of a Chris Pronger blast from the blue line and the Flyers led after one, 1-0.
The Flyers continued to let the Islanders control the pace of the game and failed to assert themselves throughout the second period. The orange and black got themselves into penalty trouble early, too, starting with a goaltender interference penalty on Scott Hartnell 0:33 into the period which seemed to injure Isles netminder Dwayne Roloson. He would stay in the game.
Matt Moulson converted on the third of three straight power plays for the Islanders after he picked up a fluttering puck off of the boards. He beat Bobrovsky high stick side. The game would remain tied after two periods.
The third period continued to be more of the same.
With 5 minutes remaining in the game, however, the duo of Eric Wellwood and Andreas Nodl once again gave the Flyers the lead. Wellwood took a hard shot from the left side. The rebound bounced off of Roloson and right to a waiting Andreas Nodl who netted his third goal of the season. Wellwood’s assist marks his first NHL point.
“I was happy with my performance,” Wellwood told the media after the game. “Coach really played me a lot tonight and I think things were just going my way and hopefully it'll keep going. I don't want them to send me back [to the Phantoms], of course, so I have to make it as hard as I can for them.”
The Islanders gave one last onslaught of shots in a last minute effort to send the game into overtime. Bobrovsky put the Flyers two men down on a delay of game penalty after Roloson left the net in favor of an extra attacker for the Islanders.
Andreas Nodl commented on the importance of some of the younger players on the team.
“Bob has been stepping up a lot and Eric Wellwood is a great guy who plays the game the right way and we have so many bigger guys who contribute every night,” he said. “Some nights the other guys have to step up, too. It's good when other people score goals too sometimes.”
It was a sloppy win, but the Flyers picked up two points nonetheless. Bobrovsky said it best through an interpreter.
“We won. Everything's good.”
You said it, Bob.
The Flyers look for their seventh straight win as they take on the Capitals this afternoon at 5:00pm.
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Stars of the Game
1. Sergei Bobrovsky
2. Andreas Nodl
3. Matt Carle