Well, the Isles played a good forty minutes of hockey. At least, they showed up for the first two periods of the game with Michael Haley and Zenon Konopka getting into fights within the first 21 seconds of the game with Daniel Carcillo and Sean O’Donnell respectively. However, Rick DiPietro didn’t seem to come out with the intensity and energy as the rest of the team, and a quick2-0 lead within a 22 second span with goals from Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk for the boys from the city of brotherly love set the tone in beating the Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Colosseum 4-1.
The only goal for the Islanders came from Blake Comeau, his 21st of the season, which, at the time, put the Islanders back into the game in the first period at 2-1. Unfortunately, James van Riemsdyk scored his 2nd of the game after that to give the visitors a 3-1 lead by the end of the opening stanza.
The Islanders out shot the Flyers 37-22, but Sergei Bobrovsky came up with some spectacular saves to only allow the one goal by the Isles, which was a rebound goal to boot. Robbing Kyle Okposo in the 2nd period of what looked to be an easy goal probably typified the evening of Islander frustrations, though Okposo wasn’t the only guy to be unable to solve Bobrovsky. PA Parenteau rang a post in the 3rd period, and that top line of Parenteau, Tavares and Moulson certainly had their chances. In fact, all four Islander lines buzzed at times, and the Isles dominated much of the play throughout the 1st and 2nd periods.
For whatever the reason, though, the effort subsided quite a bit in the closing period. van Riemsdyk finished off his hat trick to give his team a 4-1 lead at the 9:15 mark of the period and, for all intents and purposes, put the game out of reach for the Islanders. What little energy the home team had in that period appeared to waver and lilt after JVR’s goal. Even Matt Martin getting into a fight withSean O’Donnell didn’t seem to revitalize the Isles.
With the loss, the Islanders were mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase. I guess that from a “realistic” perspective, this was something many fans foresaw coming over the last few weeks, but the “finality” of it was a bit disappointing and depressing for a “hardcore” fan like myself. If anything, I was hoping the boys would prolong the hunt for, at least, a few more games. So, we’ll just have to see if we can find a way to hurt the Rangers and Flyers in the standings over the next couple of weeks.
The Isles move on to the Rock to play the Devils on Wednesday and then have their final tilt with the Rangers at home on Thursday. With six game to go and some guys looking to earn a spot with the team next season, I would expect there to be no quit from the boys. I would expect to see Al Montoya back between the pipes on Wednesday.
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