The Islanders have over the past month been a strong road team, and it has showed, as they were able to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers by the score of 4-1 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Matt Moulson notched his 22nd goal of the season late in the first period. He had scored earlier in the frame, but the goal was denied due to a distinct kicking motion. John Tavares assisted on the goal, giving him points in 11 straight games, which is tied for the NHL lead this season.
Josh Bailey scored on the penalty kill on the fourth breakaway of the night. Bailey notched his 100th point in the NHL with that goal.
Mark Streit took a slap shot on a 4 on 3 power play to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead in the third period.
The Flyers would end Evgeni Nabokov’s streak of shutout play, as Matt Read deflected a shot from the point. Michael Grabner got a empty-netter with 0.8 seconds left to seal the deal.
Nabokov would stop 40 of 41 shots to give him his 301st NHL victory. He was fabulous, both with his glove and his blocker, many times having to fall on loose pucks, stopping the play.
Basically, the team was nearly flawless throughout the road trips. As Howie Rose said on the telecast, maybe the Dads/Mentors should be going on the road for the rest of the season.
Their defensive play, both in defending mode, and in getting that important first pass out was just about perfect. The one-on-one battles were fantastic. So many of the battles in the corners, saw the Islanders come out with the puck.
And as far as the offense goes, you are seeing the Islanders front line of Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Moulson be so strong. Anyone that can stand there and say that JT is NOT among the top 25 players under 25, ( to see this ridiculous article, click here) needs to drink some serious kool-aid. You could see at the beginning of the season that Tavares’s game was improving, but in the past 15-20 games, it has gone up even another notch.
The special teams were outstanding tonight, killing all of the Flyers power plays, and the Isles scored on with the man advantage.
Bailey probably played one of his best games of the season tonight. He was so visible, both in the face off circle, in the corners, and of course, the breakaway goal. That goal basically took the fans right out of the game.
For the Islanders, this was the first victory in Philadelphia since April 0f 2007 (13 losses before tonight). It gives the team a serious positive note before the all-star break. If the team can get to the .500 mark before the break, that can give the team a lot of momentum going into the last 30 games of the season. At the time of this article, the Isles are 10 points out of the promised land of 8th place. Can they do it? Why not.
For info on the Flyers side of the story, check out their site
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