Islanders 4, Flyers 3
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ Goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick, continuing his comeback, won his second straight game as the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Thursday night.
Fitzpatrick, who has been sidelined for most of the last two years by a rare blood disease, made 30 saves in only his third start of the season. He won his first game on Tuesday night, 6-2 over Detroit.
The Flyers extended their road winless streak to six games (0-5-1). The Flyers have only one road victory in their last nine games, 3-0 in Minnesota on Dec. 21.
New York is on a 5-1-1 streak at the Nassau Coliseum, and now trail the fourth-place New Jersey Devils by 11 points in the Patrick Division.
Benoit Hogue’s 19th goal of the season at 11:21 of the second period held up as the game-winner. Hogue took a pass at the Flyers’ blue line, skated in on right wing, cut around defenseman Dean Kordic and tucked the puck between Ron Hextall’s legs.
The Flyers capitalized early in the first period to take a 2-0 lead.
Just 1:25 into the contest, Kevin Dineen picked up a loose puck in the Islanders’ zone and found Mark Pederson alone in the slot. Pederson’s quick 20-foot wrist shot sailed over the glove of Fitzpatrick, giving him six goals for the season.
At 3:49, Kjell Samuelsson found a loose puck at the right point, and fired a floater that handcuffed Fitzpatrick, landing in the upper right corner for a 2-0 lead.
The Islanders tied it with two late goals 1:44 apart.
Pierre Turgeon extended his goal-scoring streak to four games at 17:09 with his 20th this season. Derek King’s backhand on a two-man breakaway was stopped Hextall’s pad. Turgeon, following up the play, poked in the loose rebound.
David Volek evened the score at 18:53. Taking a feed from Ray Ferraro, Volek cut through the slot and tucked a 10-foot backhand under Hextall’s diving glove-save attempt.
The Islanders took their first lead at 4:22 of the second period, as Steve Thomas blistered a 40-foot slap shot from the upper left circle that eluded Hextall’s left kick attempt.
Andre Lomakin retied the contest at 8:51 on the power play. Standing in the low slot, Lomakin redirected Gary Galley’s left circle slap shot between Fitzpatrick’s pads.
″It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take the win,″ Islanders Coach Al Arbour said. ″I could sense from the drop of the puck that we weren’t into it like we were (Tuesday night) against Detroit.″
Flyers coach Bill Dineen noted that his forwards haven’t been doing their job.
″A lot of our forwards could have played better tonight,″ Dineen said. ″We’ve got to get some scoring from the forwards.
Hextall didn’t dispute it.
″We’re not scoring many goals on the road; we’re not scoring many goals at home; we’re not scoring many goals - period,″ Hextall said. ″It’s the same old story - we didn’t get it done.″
Hogue didn’t think his goal would stand up for 28 minutes.
″I never expected my goal to be the game-winner,″ Hogue said. ″(the Flyers) came harder as the game went on.″
The game left the Islanders with a good feeling about themselves.
″We’re starting to play a little more cohesively as a team,″ Ferraro said. ″The biggest thing is that in these wins, we haven’t given up a lot of goals.″