Philadelphia Flyers Postgame Notes
NY Islanders 7, Flyers 4 at Nassau Coliseum
Monday, January 19, 2015
* The game marked just the third time all season the Flyers have not won a game in which they scored four or more goals. They are now 14-2-1 in that situation.
* Jake Voracek posted two assists, giving him his 17th multi-point game of the season. Voracek had five shots blocked, and has now had 17 shots blocked by opponents in the last four games.
* Chris VandeVelde has scored goals in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He has three goals and an assist for four points in his last five games.
* The Islanders’ seven goals are the most they’ve scored against the Flyers since January 23, 1993 when they beat the Flyers 8-4 at Nassau Coliseum.
* The Flyers return to action tomorrow night when they host Pittsburgh (7:30, NBCSN, 97.5 FM) in their final game before the All-Star break.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders have at least eight more days of looking down at every other team in the Metropolitan Division. They are guaranteed to be in first place during the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend, which commences Friday in Columbus.
The Islanders clinched at least that much Monday with a 7-4 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Coliseum that put them five points ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins in the division and one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Eastern Conference.
New York doesn't play again until Jan. 27, when the Islanders are home against the New York Rangers. The Penguins can get to within one point of the Islanders with games Tuesday and Wednesday, but they won't be able to catch New York until after the All-Star break, which ends Jan. 26.
Nikolay Kulemin scored twice, including a shorthanded goal, and added an assist for his second three-point game of the season. Kulemin, who had three points on Oct. 25 in a 7-5 win against the Dallas Stars, has five goals in the past four games and 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists this season.
Michael Grabner, Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey and John Tavares each contributed a goal and an assist. Tavares scored a power-play goal with 7.6 remaining in the second period to give the Islanders a 5-2 lead. Bailey has seven points in the past three games.
Anders Lee scored an empty-net goal, Johnny Boychuk added two assists and goalie Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves for his 25th win of the season.
Halak and Tavares will represent the Islanders in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
The Islanders have 63 points and are 12-4-1 in their past 17 games. They outshot the Flyers 41-29, including 20-7 in the second period. The Islanders have outshot the opponent in 16 of the past 17 games.
They enter the All-Star break with a 16-4-0 record at Nassau Coliseum; they were 13-19-9 at home last season. New York is 15-2-0 against the Metropolitan Division this season.
Philadelphia got goals in the second period from defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Mark Streit. Claude Giroux scored 49 seconds into the third period and Chris VandeVelde added a goal with 2:24 remaining.
The Flyers had the deficit down to 4-2 heading into the final minute of the second period, but a hooking penalty by Jakub Voracek at 19:05 gave the Islanders a second power-play opportunity in a span of less than three minutes. Tavares answered with his 21st goal of the season.
New York's line of Kulemin, Grabner and Brock Nelson had a quick start with two goals within the first 8:06.
Grabner scored his fourth of the season and second in the past three games at 1:32 with a shot from the left circle that went over Zepp's glove. Grabner got behind the defense thanks to a tape-to-tape, blue line-to-blue line pass from Kulemin.
Kulemin scored off the rebound at 8:06 to make it 2-0.
Grabner was trying to set up Kulemin for a one-timer in the slot, but the pass went through and got to Boychuk after banking off the half-wall. Zepp made a save on Boychuk's slap shot, but the rebound went to Kulemin, who was alone with an empty net at the bottom of the left circle.
Kulemin made it 3-0 with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 4:53 of the second period. He blocked Matt Read's shot and followed the puck into the neutral zone to get his breakaway. Kulemin made a backhand-to-forehand deke before shooting into the top right corner.
The Flyers and Islanders traded the next three goals with Del Zotto and Streit scoring around a goal from Bailey at 11:49, five seconds after a penalty to Flyers forward Sean Couturier expired.
Bailey's goal was the last shot Zepp faced.
Tavares' goal, though, was a backbreaker for the Flyers, especially considering Giroux scored less than a minute into the third period off a turnover by Halak behind the net. Instead of Giroux's goal making it 4-3, the Islanders still had a two-goal lead.
Frans Nielsen found Tavares between the hash marks with a diagonal pass from the left point. Tavares made a few quick moves and roofed a backhanded shot over Emery's glove.
Leddy gave the Islanders a 6-3 lead at 5:45 with a wrist shot from the point that got past Emery, who was screened by Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl