Flyers Beat Islanders For 26th Time In 28 Games
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 shots, and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Islanders for the 26th time in 28 games, 3-2 on Thursday night.
Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers (26-12-4), who moved within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers. Kyle Okposo and John Tavares scored for the Islanders.
The Flyers (26-12-4) have won 12 of 13 on Long Island during their dominant run against the Islanders. New York (15-20-6) had won three straight at home, including a 5-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday.
Bobrovsky stopped Michael Grabner on a penalty shot 2:49 in and made a spectacular glove save on the Islanders right wing late in the second. The 23-year-old Russian has tormented the Islanders since joining the Flyers before last season. Bobrovsky (10-3-1) is 7-0 against New York.
Hartnell’s power-play goal at 17:20 of the first period put Philadelphia ahead after Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov was whistled for tripping. Hartnell’s 19th of the season came on a pass from Jaromir Jagr, who has more points against the Islanders than any team during his 19-year NHL career.
Simmonds banked a shot off of Nabokov’s skate at 13:08 of the second for his 11th of the season after Nabokov fumbled the puck behind the net and had trouble getting back into position in the crease. Nabokov is still one win shy of 300 in the NHL.
Okposo ruined Bobrovsky’s bid for his first career shutout 22 seconds into the third when he knocked in the rebound of a shot by Andrew MacDonald for his 10th goal.
Tavares scored with 17 seconds left to make it 3-2 after Couturier netted his eighth of the season to give Philadelphia a two-goal lead with 1:30 remaining.
Tavares’ assist on Okposo’s goal extended his point streak to a career-best seven games. Tavares, selected earlier Thursday to play in his first NHL All-Star game, has four goals and 10 assists during the spurt.
NOTES: Tavares will be the Islanders’ lone representative at the All-Star game this month at Ottawa . Philadelphia has won four of five since losing the outdoor Winter Classic to the Rangers on Jan. 2 . Jagr has 59 goals and 83 assists in 93 games against the Islanders . New York is 1-18-5 against Philadelphia since the end of the 2006-07 season.
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