for this game

Islanders hang on vs. Flyers, remain alive in playoff chase

Apr 8, 2007 - 4:15 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- They still do not control their own destiny, but the New York Islanders took a necessary step in their quest for a playoff spot.

Defenseman Tom Poti had a goal and an assist and Richard Park continued his success against his former team with a tally as the Islanders kept alive their postseason hopes with a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jason Blake recorded a pair of assists and Wade Dubielewicz made 28 saves for New York (39-30-12), which temporarily pulled even with Montreal for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

In order to secure the spot, the Islanders needed the Toronto Maple Leafs to defeat the Canadiens later Saturday evening and to record a win of their own over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

"The thing that we talked about is getting the opportunity to fight for a spot," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "We did our part, now we have to wish for a little luck to come our way. ... We'll watch the (Montreal-Toronto) game here tonight. We'll have our Leafs colors on and say, 'Go Leafs, Go.'"

"This is probably the tightest race I have been in, and it's good, it's exciting hockey," New York defenseman Sean Hill added. "Everything means something. It feels like we've been in the playoffs the last few games. We'll cross our fingers for Toronto and see what happens."

All the wishing and hoping apparently worked, as Toronto rallied for a 6-5 victory over Montreal (42-34-6), eliminating the Canadiens from postseason contention. With a triumph over the Devils, the Islanders will jump one point ahead of the Maple Leafs (40-31-11) and grab the final playoff berth in the East.

Focusing on one task at a time, New York used its power play to take control of this one as Miroslav Satan and captain Alexei Yashin tallied with the man advantage for a 2-0 lead.

"They got two power-play goals early, which killed our momentum," said Flyers center Mike Richards, who returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a separated shoulder. "As the game went on, we got a lot stronger. It was those two power-play goals that killed us."

Park, who played seven games for the Flyers in 1998-99, made it a three-goal cushion midway through the second period with his eighth goal of the season, four of which have come against Philadelphia.

"I've got good memories here," Park said. "I like playing here. They have loud fans and it's a fun rink. It was a big game and I was glad to get the win here."

The Flyers made things interesting as Simon Gagne scored his 40th tally of the season - and 200th career - late in the middle session and Richards netted a shorthander with 62 seconds to go in the third. But Poti sealed the win during a power play in the final minute, firing the puck into an empty net.

"These guys battled hard for the last three games," Nolan said. "Everybody picked us to be in the 30th spot, and here we are. We have a chance."

Dubielewicz posted his third straight victory for the Islanders, who concluded the season series against the Flyers with a 6-2-0 record.

"I'm just happy I could play and showcase myself and be a part of something special here," Dubielewicz said.

Defenseman Randy Jones registered two assists for Philadelphia, which has lost five in a row and finishes its disappointing season at home against Buffalo on Sunday.

"I thought we were a little tentative early on, and then we kind of settled in and played," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "We just want to see everyone play hard, and I thought that everyone did that tonight."

Satan opened the scoring at 3:36 of the first period, blasting a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past goaltender Antero Niittymaki for his 27th of the season.

Yashin doubled the lead 70 seconds into the middle session, beating Niittymaki with a slapper from the left circle. Poti recorded his career-high 38th assist on the play.

"It wasn't one of my best games," said Niittymaki, who made 28 saves. "I gave up a few bad goals. I didn't feel really good in the first half of the game. I felt better in the second half, but it was 3-2 by then, so there was nothing I could do."

Park increased the advantage to 3-0 at 9:58, burying the rebound of Jeff Tambellini's shot from the right circle.

"We were on the forecheck and the puck popped to Tambellini, who got a shot," Park said. "The puck was there and I might have gone in there with it. It was a hard-working goal."

Philadelphia got on the board with 4:47 left in the second. After Jones kept the puck in the offensive zone at the left point, he passed down low to Gagne, who skated toward the net and put a backhander past Dubielewicz to reach the 40-goal plateau for the second straight season.

"Personally, I would like to reach it every year if I could," Gagne said. "It's fun to put up those numbers, but you would like to do it in a good year. Right now, it's been a disappointing year for us, but to reach that goal total for the second year in a row is fun."

Richards showed no ill effects from his injury, making a nifty move in the slot to draw the Flyers within one with his ninth goal of the campaign.

"The shoulder felt good," Richards said. "There were a couple of points in the game where there was a little bit of pain, but it went away immediately. It didn't feel too bad at all tonight."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 2 1 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MIROSLAV SATAN 27 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, JASON
    BLAKE) 3:36
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) ALEXEI YASHIN 18 (TOM POTI, JASON BLAKE) 1:10
    NYI - RICHARD PARK 8 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, ANDY HILBERT) 9:58
    PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE

    Apr 7 3:35 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: NYI - (PP) TOM POTI 6 (RYAN SMYTH, TRENT HUNTER) 0:29

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 3:33 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 17 roots

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 3:33 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (SH) MIKE RICHARDS 9 (RANDY JONES) 18:58

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 3:28 PM
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    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 3:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 2 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MIROSLAV SATAN 27 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, JASON
    BLAKE) 3:36
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) ALEXEI YASHIN 18 (TOM POTI, JASON BLAKE) 1:10
    NYI - RICHARD PARK 8 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, ANDY HILBERT) 9:58
    PHI - (PP)

    Apr 7 2:37 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1:31 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 2:34 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: NYI - RICHARD PARK 8 (JEFF TAMBELLINI, ANDY HILBERT) 9:58

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 2:19 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) ALEXEI YASHIN 18 (TOM POTI, JASON BLAKE) 1:10

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 2:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MIROSLAV SATAN 27 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, JASON
    BLAKE) 3:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 8 8
    PHI 11 11
    GOALIES: NYI - WAD

    Apr 7 1:45 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MIROSLAV SATAN 27 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, JASON
    BLAKE) 3:36

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 1:19 PM
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    OddyOh Added 5 roots

    Islanders vs. FlyersApr 7 1:15 PM