Vinny Lecavalier scored his first hat trick as a Flyer in a 5-2 win over the Islanders Saturday night. (AP)
Flyers captain Claude Giroux talked about jumping on the Islanders early.
Well, that’s exactly what happened, as the Flyers scored two goals just a minute apart in the first 5:30 of the first period.
Giroux never mentioned anything about a hat trick, though.
Vinny Lecavalier got his first of the the season and the seventh of his career, as the Flyers defeated the Isles, 5-2, at Nassau Coliseum.
His first goal was a one-timer from the right circle for a power-play goal that snapped a 1 for 25 skid on special teams. He got another late in the period and his third came in the third.
That one saw Thomas Hickey trip him on the rush. Vinny fell, got back up, and put in the rebound for his hatter.
“We skating a lot better,” said Jakub Voracek before the game. Voracek had one of the Flyers other two goals. Matt Read scored the final one on an empty net.
“The last 3-4 games we've really picked up the pace," Voracek continued. "We've been creating a lot of offense and playing very responsible defensively. I think that's why we've been starting to score some goals. Hopefully we can keep this going.”
Zac Rinaldo was cut above the right eye after being struck by a shot from Braydon Coburn in the second period. He did return to the game.
For Austrian winger Michael Raffl, who was rewarded with a move up to the top line this week with Giroux and Lecavalier. He recorded his first NHL point on Lecavalier’s second goal of the game in the first period.
Twice is nice
Only the second time this season the Flyers led in a game 2-0. They did it first back on Oct. 8 against Florida – their first win of the season.
Mark Streit’s homecoming saw the Flyers' defenseman pick up two assists. Streit played here for five seasons, though, technically, he missed one year with a shoulder injury after a collision with teammate Matt Moulson during a scrimmage.
Avoiding a dubious record
This was the first time all season the Flyers scored three goals in a game. Good thing, too, because had they not, they would have tied the 1940 New York Americans, who went 10 games without three goals.
The Flyers faced the No. 1 power play in the NHL as the Islanders came in with a 30-percent efficiency and 10 goals. The Flyers did yeoman’s work, killing off a bad charging penalty by Zac Rinaldo in the second period. During that kill, the Flyers blocked one shot and cleared the puck several times. Alas, Voracek had a giveaway on a cross-ice pass right after that, during a Flyers power play, and Frans Nielsen scored shorthanded, making it, 3-2. The Flyers were 1 for 3 on their power play.
A rather long bout and a very good one early in the game between Flyers enforcer Jay Rosehill and the Isles Eric Boulton. When these two guys dress for a game, it’s entirely predictable they’re gonna drop ‘em. We gave it a draw.
A new one with center Adam Hall joining defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Hal Gill.
Claude Giroux was 12 for 18 (67 percent) on faceoffs. ... The Flyers had one more shot not reach the net (33) than they had shots reach the net (32). They had 13 shots blocked and 20 shots that missed. ... Scott Hartnell returned to the lineup after missing four games with a rib cage injury. He recorded three shots, four hits, a takeaway and was plus-1 in 16:18 of ice time. ... Zac Rinaldo had more penalty minutes (four) than time on ice (3:39).
The Anaheim Ducks visit Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.