The Islanders played better than in their 8-1 debacle on Thursday, but couldn't avoid adding 1 to the loss column in Philadelphia. Rick Dipietro was back between the pipes against Flyers goalie Martin Biron, and took the loss in the 3-1 setback.
The first period was a quick, defensive frame which saw few chances and no goals. Radek Martinek stood out for his splendid defense, holding off Daniel Briere and the Flyers first line. Bryan Berard also had a big block on a shot that was headed for a wide open net.Shots were 6-5 Islanders at the end of 20.
The Flyers opened the game's scoring at 6:37 in the second when an intial shot from Joffrey Lupul was knocked in by Jeff Carter for his 3rd of the season and a power play goal. The puck barely squeaked past Dipietro on the near post, and Philly took a 1-0 lead. Chris Simon, fresh off his 25 game suspension, made his presence felt midway through the second when he dropped the gloves with Riley Cote in what turned out to be a quick dust-up. Moments later, Philadephia extended their lead when the Islanders' defense misread the play in front of their net and let Sami Kapanen have enough room to backpeddle and roof one past Dipietro.
The Islanders controlled the offense throughout the third period but only managed one goal. They finally got on the board when second line center Josef Vasicek took a shorthanded slapshot from the high circle which trickled past Flyer netminder Martin Biron. New York missed plenty of chances to cash in, as they outshot Philly 15-6 in the third. A flurry of Islander chances at the end of the period with their net empty went for naught as they failed to bury the game tying goal. New Flyers captain Jason Smith set it in stone when he scored an empty net goal from his own end with just seconds left in the 3rd.
Again, the Islanders outshot the opposition (30-23) but trailed in the stat that counts.
The Flyers move to 3-1-0 after their home opener win as the Islanders drop to 3-3-0.
The Islanders have a 5 day break before they travel to Washington to face the Washington Capitals for the second time this season.
The Isles sent a message by scratching power play quarterbark Marc-Andre Bergeron tonight. With Jeff Tambellini being sent back down, the Islanders could have scratched Darryl Bootland again and dressed 7 defensemen, but opted to use Bootland's muscle and punish MAB for his poor defensive play.
According to tonight's telecast, Shawn Bates skated again today, and likely will return within the coming weeks.