Flyers Top Islanders 3-2 For 7th Win In 8 Games
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves, coming within 6:30 of a fourth straight shutout. and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night for their seventh win in eight games.
Zac Rinaldo, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers (41-22-7), who stayed two points behind Pittsburgh for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
Michael Grabner ruined Bryzgalov’s shutout bid on his 16th goal with 6:30 to go. John Tavares scored his career-best 31st goal 35 seconds later, but New York couldn’t muster a tying goal.
Bryzgalov (29-13-6) set a new Flyers shutout streak record of 249:43, breaking the previous team record of 227:40 set by John Vanbiesbrouck from Oct. 17-27, 1999.
The Flyers have won 25 of the last 28 meetings between the teams dating to March 2008.
The Islanders (28-32-11) lost their fifth straight overall to fall into a tie with Montreal for last place in the Eastern Conference.
The 31-year-old Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year, $51 million contract last summer, almost became the first non-North American goaltender to record four straight NHL shutouts. Fellow Russian Nikolai Khabibulin had shutouts in three straight games for Phoenix in March 1997.
The Flyers have won 13 of the last 14 on Long Island, including all three games this season against the Islanders.
Rinaldo scored his second of the season on a sharp-angle shot from along the goal line, beating Evgeni Nabokov at 8:41 of the first period. Rinaldo shot the puck from Nabokov’s right, banking it off the goaltender’s left pad and into the net.
Giroux scored his career-best 26th goal of the season on a snapshot from the slot with 6:34 to go on the first period and Hartnell made it 3-0 with his 33rd at 7:02 of the second.
Brian Boucher had five straight shutouts for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2003-04 with a shutout sequence of 332:01. Boucher’s accomplishment broke the then-record of four straight shutouts held by Montreal’s Bill Durnan, who had a 309:21 streak in 1948-49.
Alec Connell of the 1927-28 Ottawa Senators recorded six straight shutouts before the NHL’s so-called “modern era” began in 1943-44 with the addition of a center red line.
NOTES: Referee Stephane Auger had to be helped from the ice after he was accidentally struck in the face by MacDonald’s stick 6 minutes into the third period. … With 82 points, Giroux is third in league scoring behind Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos. … Jaromir Jagr, who had an assist on Giroux’s goal, has more points against the Islanders than any other NHL team with 60 goals and 85 assists in 97 games.
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