For the second time in eight days, a pair of goals from Jeff Carter gave the Flyers the boost they needed to win as a trip to Florida resulted in a 3-2 win over the Panthers. Carter's pair within an eleven minute span in the second period along with a first period goal from Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers a win after a terrible loss on Saturday. The Flyers' win improves their record to 43-19-7.
The Flyers didn't start the game as they planned as the Panthers had a very strong first shift. However, the Flyers did produce the game's first goal.
Keeping the puck in the zone after an offensive chance, Matt Carle cycled the puck down to Ville Leino in the corner. Backhanding it to the slot, Leino found Mike Richards just outside the crease to the right of Tomas Vokoun. Ill-advised, Vokoun dropped to his back and threw his arms out in an attempt to block a possible Richards' shot. Showing plenty of patience, Richards waited for Hartnell to show up in the slot for a wide open shot. Hartnell nailed the opportunity giving him his twentieth goal of the year and a 1-0 Flyers' lead.
Naturally, given the way the Flyers have been playing lately, the lead didn't last long. Within three minutes of Hartnell's goal, a clear from Keaton Ellerby behind his own net led to Stephen Weiss gloving the puck at the Flyers' blue line after Sergei Samsonov tipped the puck from the boards to open ice. After putting the puck on the ice, Weiss drove to the bottom of the circle to Brian Boucher's right and ripped one top corner glove side. A defeated Boucher posed while looking back at the net as Weiss had just deposited his nineteenth on the year making it a 1-1 game.
Killing off a James van Riemsdyk hooking call, the Flyers went on a powerplay of their own. In fact, the Flyers had a 5-on-3 advantage for fifty-six seconds as Mike Weaver went to the box for high-sticking after Ryan Carter had been sitting in the sin bin for elbowing. Unfortunately, similar to the Panthers, they were unable to produce a goal with the powerplay opportunity.
With the score remaining level after the exchanging of powerplay chances, the Panthers gained their first lead of the game. Finding its way through a maze of bodies, Dmitry Kulikov slapped home a rocket from the point to give Florida a 2-1 lead with one minute and forty-nine seconds left in the first.
As his team moved through the beginning of the second period with little to no life, Daniel Carcillo attempted to turn things around by engaging in a fight with Mike Duco. Carcillo's decision to fight proved to be a smart one.
Fifty-seven seconds after the fight, Jeff Carter saw one of his shots trickle past the goal-line to tie the game at two. Claude Giroux was able to force Ryan Carter to turn the puck over in the Panthers' defensive zone. Gaining control of the puck, Jeff Carter looped around from the slot to the circle to Vokoun's left and ripped a shot high glove side. Hitting Vokoun's glove, Carter watched his shot pop up in the air and roll over the goal-line. Carter's thiry-first tied the game as the Flyers were still surging.
Thirty-three seconds after the game-tying goal, Michal Repik went to the box for cross-checking. Unforunately, a JVR slash ended Philly's third powerplay opportunity fifty seconds later. The Panthers didn't capitalize on their shortened man advantage and the game remained tied at two.
Later in the period, Peter Laviolette called a timeout as his team had just iced the puck. Coming out of the timeout, Danny Briere jumped on a faceoff win that resulted on the Panthers' side of the dot. Bolting past the defenders, Briere started a 2-on-1 with Carter. Moving the puck to his backhand, Briere flipped the puck over to Carter who put it home for his second of the period and a 3-2 Flyers' lead.
As Saturday's result will indicate, the Flyers have been poor in the final twenty minutes of regulation in their past few games. The period was moving along smoothly until JVR went to the sin bin for a high-stick worthy of a double minor. A play that most likely results in a goal for the opposition lately, the Flyers held off the pressuring Panthers.
The Flyers caught a break as Kulikov went to the box for hooking fifty-two seconds after JVR was sent off. As Kulikov's penalty ended, Florida once again didn't register a power-play goal letting the Flyers hold onto their 3-2 lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation.
Despite being dominated by Florida's forecheck for the remaining time in regulation, Philly held on for a 3-2 victory.
It was important for the Flyers to come out and have a strong third period after Saturday's collapse. A loss similar to Saturday's can put a team, especially a team who just lost their emotional leader, in a funk resulting in a losing streak. However, Philly answered the call tonight and held onto their one-goal lead ultimately winning after enduring a scoreless third period.
Carcillo's fight in the second period allowed the Flyers to tie the game and essentially win it. The Flyers are now 32-8-4 with Carcillo in the lineup including their win in Florida tonight. He doesn't provide many goals or scoring chances, but Carcillo's ability to persistently forecheck and backcheck along with motivating his teammates when needed must have some kind of positive effect. Carcillo has four goals and two assists while posting a plus/minus rating of -10 this season.
Notes: Tonight was Jeff Carter's sixth two-goal game; his last one was last on 3/8 against Edmonton. Brian Boucher is now 6-0-2 in his last 8 decisions; Bobrovsky is 3-3-2 in his last 8 decisions. The Flyers are now 2-0-1 since Pronger's absence from the lineup started after the Oilers game last Tuesday. Tonight was the first time the Flyers didn't score a powerplay goal in a game since their 7-0 loss to the Rangers on 3/6. The Panthers one-goal loss is their 44th one-goal game of the year; the Panthers lead the league in that category. The Flyers went 3-1-0 against the Panthers during the 2010-2011 season and are now 10-5-2 against the Southeast division (WSH 2-0-1, TBL 1-3-0, CAR 3-1-0, ATL 1-0-1, FLA 3-1-0).
Four Atlanta goals, including two in the final three minutes, helped the Flyers choke away a huge lead in the third period and led them to eventually lose 5-4 in overtime.
Ron Hainsey's extra-session goal turned a happy night for the Flyers' faithful, who witnessed Ville Leino's first career hat trick, into an upsetting one as their home team blew a 3-0 lead entering the final twenty minutes. Sergei Bobrovsky was nineteen minutes away from his first shutout of the season before allowing five goals in just over a 20-minute span.
Despite being sorely outplayed in the beginning of the game, the Flyers took the first lead. After Danny Briere dumped the puck to Scott Hartnell at the top of the circle to Ondrej Pavelec's right, Hartnell sold a shot before passing it to Leino at the bottom of the opposing circle. Kicking it from his skate to his stick, Leino put the puck home in what was essentially an empty net. Leino's fifteenth on the season and first on the night gave Philly a 1-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the first.
About four minutes into the second period, the Thrashers had an opportunity to tie up the game by going on the man advantage. While Darroll Powe sat in the box for hooking, Mike Richards and Kimmo Timonen created a chance of their own. Leading a 2-on-1 with Timonen, Richards faked a slapshot before moving past Pavelec. With the goalie down in the crease, Richards went forehand to backhand lobbing a pass from behind the goal-line to Timonen for the easy score. Putting home his fifth of the season, Timonen's short-handed goal gave the Orange and Black a two-goal lead.
Ten minutes later, this time possessing the man advantage, the Flyers were able to extend their lead to 3-0 before the end of the second period.
As Tim Stapleton sat in the sin bin for holding, Kris Versteeg passed it from the point to Richards in the middle of the circle to Pavelec's right. With plenty of time to line up a shot, Richards let one rip resulting in the puck hitting Pavelec and rebounding in front. Hartnell nudged the puck behind Pavelec where a waiting Leino pounced on the puck in the crease and slammed home his second goal of the night.
Attempting to change his team's momentum, Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay switched Pavelec with Chris Mason to start the final period.
One minute into the final stanza, Evander Kane broke up the shutout giving Atlanta hope. Guarding the puck to his right side from the blue line in, Kane switched the puck to his forehand sneaking it past Bobrovsky's blocker side for his eighteenth on the season and a 3-1 Thrashers' deficit.
Just over eleven minutes later, Zach Bogosian found a way to put a booming slapshot through traffic and Bobrovsky to cut the Flyers' lead to one. It gave the visitors seven minutes and forty-five seconds to find the equalizer.
Responding quickly to the Thrashers' previous salvo, Leino put home his third and final goal of the night.
Timonen moved right to left along the point before sliding the puck over to a waiting Leino at the top of the circle to Mason's left. One-timing the puck, Leino slapped it past an angered Mason. His power-play goal capped the trifecta and provided Philadelphia with a seemingly iron-clad 4-2 edge.
With just six minutes and twenty-eight seconds left in regulation, Leino's 17th of the year looked like enough to secure two points. However, Atlanta wasn't giving up without a fight.
With Versteeg in the box for a questionable interference call, Tobias Enstrom took advantage of a misplaced Flyers' defense man to make the deficit one. As Timonen roamed into the corner to pick up Bobrovsky's dropped stick, Anthony Stewart realized Enstrom was open across the ice and passed him the puck. Enstrom nailed the opportunity giving Atlanta just under three minutes to find the game-tying goal.
Failing to effectively wrap the puck around the boards in the final minute of play, Versteeg instead passed the puck into the side of the net on Bobrovsky's blocker side. Bryan Little worked the puck free, where Andrew Ladd slid it past a falling Bobrovsky and tie the game with just forty-five seconds left.
Hainsey was then allowed to break free up the middle to tip a backhanded shot home off a Kane centering pass 1:17 into the extra period. Needing only to hold onto a 3-0 lead for twenty minutes, the Flyers found a way to bobble away a point and end up with a 5-4 overtime loss that would be more crushing if the club was struggling to find playoff seeding.
After being outplayed in the first period, it looked as though the Flyers had weathered the storm. However, several poor defensive plays led to the Flyers' downfall. A poor decision by Timonen on the penalty kill as well as a poor pass from Versteeg in the corner essentially handed Atlanta the two goals they needed to tie the game.
This collapse was definitely the Flyers' fault, but the officiating in the game was absolutely horrible. Atlanta's power-play goal in the third was due to an interference call on Versteeg where Little ran into him. The Thrashers' breakout in overtime to win the game was started when Claude Giroux was tripped in the offensive zone and no call was made. Throw in the fact Briere didn't dive on Enstrom's interference and multiple none calls in one's home arena and it's safe to say the referees had their presence felt tonight.
Notes: According to the Associated Press, this marked the first time since November 21, 1987 that the Flyers coughed up a three-goal lead heading into the final period...In that game, the New York Islanders erased a 4-1 deficit by scoring five times in the third to win 6-4...The Flyers were 2-for-2 on the power play tonight....This was the third time this season Bobrovsky has faced at least 40 shots in a game (40 against Buffalo on January 11 and 41 against Montreal on December 15)...Leino's trick was the Flyers' second on the season (Jeff Carter against Carolina on November 11)...The Flyers are now 1-0-1 against the Thrashers on the season and 9-5-2 against the Southeast division (WSH 2-0-1, TBL 1-3-0, CAR 3-1-0, ATL 1-0-1, FLA 2-1-0).
Visiting a desperate Toronto team, the Flyers were able to beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 tonight. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist helping the Flyers win their second straight game after dropping four straight. The win improves the Flyers' record to 42-19-6.
A flaw of the Flyers game as a whole is the powerplay. Last game against Edmonton, a Jeff Carter tally was the only goal registered on a five minute advantage during the opening period. Tonight, Mike Komisarek received a, what some might call a questionable, five minute major for boarding Daniel Carcillo just before the four minute mark in the first period.
Taking advantage of the Komisarek boarding major, Andrej Meszaros blasted home his sixth goal of the season. After Danny Briere dangled with the puck for a bit in the circle to James Reimer's right, he'd slide it over to Claude Giroux. Moving towards the blue line, Giroux passed it to Meszaros at the point. Not thinking twice, Meszaros wound up and ripped home the opening goal one minute and ten seconds into the man advantage as Reimer couldn't find the slapshot through traffic.
The Flyers nearly enjoyed a two goal lead, but a quick and unheralded whistle prevented the situation. As Carter stood in front and whacked away at the puck, a whistle was blown just before the puck crossed the goal-line. The referee incorrectly believed Reimer had the puck covered up.
Unfortunately for Philly, the remaining time on the powerplay went goalless and after a five minute man advantage the Flyers had only a 1-0 lead.
Brian Boucher made his presence felt throughout the remaining time in the first period. After putting seven shots on the elongated man advantage, the Flyers were out shot 8-4 in the second half of the first period. Despite getting outworked for the latter part of the period, the orange and black held onto a 1-0 lead.
Reimer cancelled out all the hard work he did for the first half of the second period by allowing a soft goal to give Philly the 2-0 lead. After the Leafs' had just killed off a Dion Phaneuf slashing call, trouble clearing the zone ultimately led to a Darroll Powe shot from the corner to Reimer's left. Grabbing the puck and spinning clockwise, Powe threw a puck on net from the goal-line that leaked its way through Reimer's 5-hole.
Powe's sixth goal didn't give the Flyers a two-goal lead for long. As Nick Boynton sat in the sin bin for hooking, a Phaneuf slapshot from the point banked off of Mikhail Grabovski's face, who was standing next to the right post, and into the net. Grabovski's head gave him his twenty-sixth goal of the season and cut the deficit to one a minute and forty-seven seconds after Powe's goal.
The Maple Leafs then surged briefly after Grabovski's goal before Giroux regained the two-goal lead. On a rebound resulting from a James van Riemsdyk shot, Giroux put the puck home blocker side on Reimer from the slot. Toronto's one-goal deficit lasted all of three minutes and seventeen seconds before Giroux's twenty-second goal of the season made it two again with five minutes and twenty seconds left in the middle period.
Keeping their hopes up for gaining two points, Mike Brown displayed a great individual effort that resulted in a Joffrey Lupul goal. Moving the puck from the neutral zone to the Leafs' offensive zone, Brown deked past Sean O'Donnell resulting in a 2-on-1 with Lupul. Brown then passed it to Lupul through the slot where Lupul kicked it to his stick and shot it in the net over a sprawling Boucher. Lupul's ninth made it a one-goal game with twelve minutes left in regulation.
Tensions ran high late in the game when Giroux was hit by Carl Gunnarsson into the boards. After a clean hit, Gunnarsson held Giroux to the ice before Giroux threw a punch in an attempt to get Gunnarsson off of him. Agitated by the punch, Gunnarsson pushed Giroux while he was on his knees. Naturally, since the game was in Toronto, both players received minors; Giroux for roughing, Gunnarsson for cross-checking.
Both players left the box with just two minutes and twenty-nine seconds left in regulation. The remaining time didn't warrant any goals resulting in a 3-2 Flyers win.
Filling in for an injured Chris Pronger, Nick Boynton didn't have the greatest first game as a Flyer. Not registering any points, Boynton's hooking penalty in the second led to Grabovski's goal. Boynton had an even rating on the night.
With games against Atlanta on Saturday and Florida on Tuesday, the Flyers can increase their winning streak to four games.
Notes: Tonight was the first game since 2/5/11 against the Stars that both Powe and Meszaros scored. Giroux scored his first goal since a third period mark against the Coyotes on 2/22/11. The Flyers went 3-1-0 against Toronto in the 2010-2011 season and are now 11-6-0 against the Northeast division this season (BOS 1-2-0, MTL 3-1-0, BUF 2-1-0, TOR 3-1-0, OTT 2-1-0).
Recognizing the chance to turn things around with a break in their schedule, the Flyers had a dominating start ultimately leading to their 3-1 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Jeff Carter scored twice while Danny Briere had a goal and an assist as Philly embarrassed the Oilers in the opening period keeping them to a single shot. The win ends a four game losing streak and improves Philly's record to 41-19-6.
Looking to take the early lead, the Flyers were briefly halted when Chris Pronger went to the box for hooking. For the minute and thirty-seven seconds the Flyers were shorthanded, they generated enough offensive pressure to force the Oilers into a penalty of their own.
Linus Omark sat in the sin bin for interfering with Darroll Powe. Philly was unable to net a goal with the eighty-three seconds of man advantage they experienced.
As Philly looked for a way to get through the neutral zone, Ville Leino dumped the puck back to Matt Carle in the defensive zone. Noticing Briere's position, Carle launched a pass from the top of the circles to Briere who caught the pass between a pair of Oilers' defenders on the Oilers' blue line. Going in alone on Devan Dubnyk, Briere placed a shot top right over the netminder's glove for his twenty-ninth goal and a 1-0 Flyers' lead.
A big break came for the Flyers thirteen minutes into the period. As Ladislav Smid went to the box for boarding Darroll Powe, the orange and black experienced a five minute powerplay since the penalty was a major.
Nearly wasting the opportunity, Carter tipped in a pass from Briere, who was standing in the corner to Dubnyk's right, with little time left on the man advantage. With Dubnyk unable to move right to left quickly enough, Carter scored his twenty-ninth goal with seventeen seconds left on the powerplay to make the Flyers lead two.
As Smid exited the sin bin, Sean O'Donnell decided to make a visit himself just twenty-eight seconds later. Given a minute and twenty-five seconds worth of a powerplay before the end of the period, the Oilers were able to take their first shot of the game with one minute and fourteen seconds remaining in the first.
Sergei Bobrovsky kept the Oilers from scoring on the powerplay for the rest of the first period as the Flyers entered the middle stanza with a 2-0 lead. More impressive than the score was the Flyers dominance in the shot differential. After twenty minutes, the Flyers out shot Edmonton 17-1.
Seven minutes into the second period, Carter became the first thirty goal scorer for the Flyers this season. Claude Giroux won a faceoff to Dubnyk's left, where James van Riemsdyk handled the faceoff win and passed it cross ice to a pinching Kimmo Timonen. Dubnyk moved to the right post in synch with Timonen allowing the Philly defender to pass it back to the slot, where Carter was waiting to dunk home his thirtieth goal on the year. Carter's goal extended the Flyers' lead to three with just over seven minutes gone in the second period.
Unwilling to dominate the game all the way through, the Oilers found their way onto the scoreboard fifty-five seconds later. Jean-Francois Jacques tipped a Smid shot from the point moving the puck from Bobrovsky's glove side to blocker side. Bob couldn't get a piece of the shot as it went in short side giving Jacques his fourth goal on the season and the Oilers a two-goal deficit.
A powerplay opportunity for each team, elbowing on Steve MacIntyre and interference on Kimmo Timonen, didn't result in a goal for either side as the rest of the second period went scoreless. Entering the final twenty minutes in regulation, the Flyers only had to hold onto a two-goal lead to end their four game losing streak.
Blair Betts added an empty net goal with forty-two seconds left in the game. Betts' fifth goal on the year made the final score 4-1. Bobrovsky made twenty-three out of a possible twenty-four saves in the win.
Missing two of the last three games, Carter rose to the occassion tonight scoring a pair for the orange and black. His game-winning goal in the first period as well as his goal in the second were both results of crashing the net. Carter's tally in the second period makes him the first thirty-goal scorer for the Flyers this season.
The Flyers' urgency was displayed early in the game when Philly had the first sixteen shots of the game. Unfortunately, their pure domination resulted in only a two-goal lead although it could have easily been three or four. The Oilers aren't the toughest team in the league, but a win will surely give the Flyers a lot of confidence heading into their busy stretch of games during the month of March.
Notes: This is the Flyers first win against Edmonton since a 4-2 win on 3/19/01 in Edmonton; their last win in Philly was a 2-0 win on 11/9/00. This was Jeff Carter's first two-goal game since 1/23 (a 4-1 win in Chicago). Carter's 30th goal came against the Maple Leafs last year on 3/7/10. Tonight was Bobrovsky's first one-goal game since his 1-0 loss to the Kings on 2/13; Bob's last one-goal game that resulted in a win was 1/23 against the Blackhawks. The Flyers went 1-0-0 against the Oilers in the 2010-2011 season and are now 3-1-1 against the Northwest division (VAN 0-1-0, CAL 0-0-1, MIN 1-0-0, COL 1-0-0, EDM 1-0-0).
Every team in every sport goes through a rough patch. This week, the Flyers endured their first rough stretch of the season. Having only had a three game losing streak back in October, the Flyers had yet to really endure a losing streak similar to their recent four game slide.
Prior to their win against Edmonton last night, the Flyers had lost in Ottawa before losing back-to-back home games against the Maple Leafs and Sabres capping off the whole thing by being blown out by the Rangers in New York on Sunday.
In the past week, the Flyers lost three of the four games in the losing streak (Maple Leafs, Sabres, and Rangers). In those three games, the Flyers lost three leads (two taking place in the Toronto game) and were out scored 6-0 in the third periods of those games.
Fortunately, the Flyers started going down the right path at the end of the week beating the league's worst team in the Oilers 4-1 last night.
Several Flyers had a big week despite the team going 1-3-0 as a whole. Kris Versteeg registered three goals on the week highlighted with a two-goal performance against Toronto on Thursday. Jeff Carter helped Philly achieve their only win on the week netting two against Edmonton last night. He only scored one goal this week, but Kimmo Timonen's goal happened to be his 100th career goal. Timonen scored the goal during the second period of Saturday's game against Buffalo.
The Flyers have an opportunity to cancel out their recent woes with a winning streak against easily beatable opponents this week. After playing a desperate team in the Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Flyers play the Thrashers (3-6-1 in their last ten) on Saturday and the Panthers (3-5-2 in their last ten) on Tuesday.
Here's a look at how our division did this week:
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2-0-2. Having three of their four games end in overtime this week, the Pens probably had the most entertaining week out of anybody in the Atlantic division. Overtime losses to the Maple Leafs and Devils along with an overtime win against Boston sums up the work Pittsburgh endured in the extra time this week. Add on a 3-1 win over Buffalo last night and one has the Pens record of 2-0-2.
After Phil Kessel tied the game at two five minutes into the third period, Mikhail Grabovski found the back of the net forty-two seconds into OT to strand the Pens with just a point on Wednesday.
Two nights later, Ilya Kovalchuk ripped one past Brent Johson to leave Pittsburgh with the same feeling of dissapointment as only twenty-five seconds remained in the overtime period.
The next day, Dustin Jeffrey finally put the Pens on the right side of an overtime goal. Scoring a minute and fifty-two seconds into the extra period, Jeffrey erased the Penguins earlier lapse in the game where they allowed a goal with just thirty-three seconds left in regulation.
Dustin Jeffrey had a big week for the Penguins scoring two goals in their overtime win against Boston. Matt Niskanen had a big game on Wednesday having a rare two-point night registering his first goal of the season as well as assisting on Chris Conner's second period goal.
Pittsburgh will be getting its fill of Canada this week as they host the Canadiens on Saturday and the Oilers on Sunday only to follow up those games with a visit to Ottawa on Tuesday.
New York Rangers: 2-1-0. The Rangers week progressively got better as they went from losing by three to winning by seven.
After Sean Avery opened the scoring just over three minutes into the game on Thursday against Minnesota, the Wild rattled off the next three to take the game 3-1. With the win, Wild netminder Jose Theodore is now 9-0-1 against the Rangers in his last ten games at Madison Square Garden.
Despite playing on back-to-back nights and traveling to Ottawa, the Rangers were able to beat the Sens 4-1 on Friday. Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist while Wojtek Wolski had two assists.
Returning to New York for their Sunday game against divisional rival Philly, the Rangers enjoyed one of their biggest wins of the season. Beating the Flyers 7-0, Ryan Callahan had a four-goal game while Mats Zuccarello had a two-goal game in the Rangers first win over the Flyers all season long.
Callahan definitely had the biggest week for the Rangers as he had a five-point game for New York on Sunday against Philly. In addition to his four goal, one assist effort on Sunday, Callahan had an assist in the Ottawa game on Friday. Vinny Prospal had a goal and three assists this week highlighted by his two-assist performance on Sunday.
In the upcoming week, the Rangers play the Ducks tonight, Sharks on Saturday, and Islanders on Tuesday.
New Jersey Devils: 3-1-0. If it wasn't for Ottawa rookie Erik Condra, the Devils could be looking at a 4-0-0 record this week. One-goal victories over the Lightning and Penguins with a shootout win over the Islanders on Sunday gave the Devils three wins on the week before falling to the Sens 2-1 last night.
A late second period goal by Henrik Tallinder along with a Kovalchuk goal in the third erased a 1-0 deficit and gave the Devils a 2-1 over the visiting Lightning on Wednesday.
After Kovalchuk scored in overtime to beat Pittsburgh on Friday, the Devils found themselves in another close game Sunday against the Isles. Blake Comeau tied the game up at two with just three minutes and forty-two seconds left in regulation. As neither team found a goal for the rest of regulation or overtime, the game went to a shootout. In the sixth round of the shootout, Brian Rolston was able to put the puck past Al Montoya to give New Jersey the additional point.
Condra opened the scoring on Tuesday four minutes and forty-five seconds into the game. After Patrik Elias tied the game early in the second period, Condra scored his second goal of the game (and forth of the season) with just two minutes and thirteen seconds left in regulation.
As expected, Kovalchuk had a huge week for the Devils. Kovy scored the game-winning goals in the Devils' games against the Lightning and Penguins. Kovalchuk also scored a goal in the third period on Sunday against the Isles before scoring a shootout goal to keep the Devils alive for the extra point.
The Devils look to gain ground in the standings against two of the Eastern Conference's weaker teams this week. A trip to Atlanta on Friday is followed up with home games against the Isles on Saturday and Thrashers on Tuesday.
New York Islanders: 3-1-0. Considering their only loss was a six round shootout loss to the red hot Devils, the Islanders had a week to be satisfied with. Three goal wins over the Wild and Blues along with an overtime win over the Maple Leafs last night gave the Isles three wins on the week.
Scoring four unanswered goals to open the scoring Wednesday, the Islanders waltzed their way to a 4-1 win against the visiting Wild.
Spending the first two periods of their game Saturday similar to how they spent them Wednesday, the Isles scored three unanswered goals before Andy McDonald responded early in the third period for the Blues. Unable to get his team motivated, McDonald and the rest of the St. Louis squad fell to the Islanders 5-2.
After enduring the shootout loss to New Jersey on Sunday, the Islanders found a way of their own to win past regulation. With just under a minute left before the shootout, Blake Comeau tipped in a Radek Martinek shot to edge out the visiting Maple Leafs 4-3.
Blake Comeau had four goals on the week including a two-goal game against Minnesota on Wednesday and the overtime goal against Toronto last night. Frans Nielsen had a goal and five assists this week highlighted by a three assist night against Minnesota. Nielsen also had the Isles' lone goal in the shootout on Sunday.
The Islanders have a rough schedule this week as they host Boston on Friday, visit the Devils on Saturday, and visit the Rangers on Tuesday.