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The Islanders are a .500 hockey team since the Olympic break. Unfortunately, it is their penalty kill that is batting .500, as the Isles have allowed six goals in 12 times short. They allowed two in the third period as the Isles blew a 2-0 second period lead and lost their 15th straight game to the Flyers, 3-2 in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. On to the trick:
1. The Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes on a John Tavares goal. It was only the third goal in the last 35 games for Tavares since he scored five consecutive Islander goals in early December.
2. Kyle Okposo gave the Isles a 2-0 lead with his first goal in 12 career games against the Flyers just past the midway point of the second, but Jeff Carter brought the Flyers within one goal 96 seconds later. It was the fourth time this season, but the first time since Nov. 14 that Tavares and Okposo have scored in the same game.
3. The Flyers took advantage of three power plays in the third period, scoring the tying and winning goal. Claude Giroux scored the tying goal and set up the winning goal, which was scored by Simon Gagne. Gagne's goal, his third in three games, came after a penalty by Islander tough guy Trevor Gillies, who was recalled for this game. Mike Richards assisted on Giroux' goal, extending his point streak to six games. Either Gagne, Richards, Carter, or Scott Hartnell have scored the winning goal (or deciding shootout goal) in all 11 Flyer wins in the Gordon era.
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4. The Flyers are now 7-18 on the power play this season against the Isles. The Isles failed on their only attempt of the evening, and are 3-20 against Philadelphia this season. The Isles have had only eight power plays in their last four games; they have been held to one power play (or fewer) in three of thie last 16 games after having at least two power plays in each of their first 50 games.
5. Philadelphia improves to 2-17-0 in games that they have trailed after two periods, while the Isles fall to 21-3-3 in games that they led. Only three teams have lost more games than the Isles after holding second period leads; the Isles also dropped to 13-7-3 when leading after one period—no team has lost more games that they have led after 20 minutes than the Islanders.
6. The Isles have now been outscored by a 75-37 margin in the third period. Their 37 goals scored are by far the fewest in the NHL (Boston has 43) while only Anaheim and Carolina (79 each) have allowed more third period goals.
7. Matt Moulson's point streak was stopped at five games. Tim Jackman led the Isles with seven hits while Bruno Gervais matched career single game highs in both assists and points as he assisted on both Islander goals. It was his first two-assist game since Nov. 23 in Toronto.
8. Michael Leighton, who was claimed on re-entry waivers by Philadelphia in December, made 23 saves as he defeated the Isles for the second time in as many tries. He is 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions and 15-3-2 as a Flyer. Dwayne Roloson, who has started five straight games, finished with 32 saves for the Isles.
9. The Isles have lost eight straight on the road and three straight overall. They are now 3-12-0 in their last 15 games and have fallen 10 points behind the eighth place Bruins, who lost in overtime to the Leafs tonight. The Isles are only six points ahead of the Leafs, who sit last in the Eastern Conference.
10. The Flyers have won 15 straight against the Isles (12-0-3), including nine one-goal victories. Six of the last seven games between the teams have resulted in one-goal Flyer victories It's the longest winning streak in Flyer history against the Islanders and the longest active streak by one team against another since the Bruins defeated Ottawa 17 straight times from 1992-95. The Isles have lost 10 straight games in Philadelphia.
Up next: The Isles return home on Thursday to begin a three game in four day homestand by facing the Blues. It will be St.Louis' first visit to Long Island since providing the opposition for Scott Gordon's home debut as the Islander coach. The Isles had gone 2-0-2 in thei last four against the Blues prior to dropping a 4-1 decision in November.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick