Boruk and Clement break down Flyers-Islanders game
Michael Raffl scored the go-ahead goal in the third period of the Flyers' 6-4 win over the Islanders. (USA Today Images)
On the day he signed a three-year extension with the Flyers (see story), Steve Mason was unable to stop one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Luckily for Mason, who allowed four goals on 24 shots and was pulled in the second period, the Flyers continued their recent trend of coming back late in games to hand the New York Islanders a 6-4 loss at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak at home for the Flyers and improved them to 25-19-5 this season. The Islanders suffered just their second defeat in their last 10 games on the road and are now 19-24-7.
Islanders captain John Tavares opened the scoring at the 7:43 mark of the first period. A Nicklas Grossmann turnover forced by Kyle Okposo led to Thomas Vanek finding a wide-open Tavares in front of the net for an easy tap-in goal.
Not long after, Cal Clutterbuck made it a 2-0 game with a shorthanded tally after Jakub Voracek misplayed a puck and Scott Hartnell was beat down the ice during the Flyers’ first power play of the contest.
Then Andrej Meszaros took over the first. The Flyers’ defenseman scored two consecutive goals to help the Flyers escape the period with the game tied at 2-2.
"The first goal I just tried to shoot it at the net,” Meszaros said. “It went in and I got kind of a lucky bounce. The second goal, I think it was Hartsy or somebody who found me there. Their guy went down so I just went around him and just picked a corner. It was kind of open high there so that's where I shot."
The Flyers went up 3-2 in the second frame when Adam Hall deflected a Mark Streit shot from the point past Isles netminder Kevin Poulin. It was Hall’s first marker this season with a goalie in the net. His only other goal was an empty netter.
But turnovers and lackadaisical play in their defensive zone came back to haunt the Flyers. The Islanders ripped off two goals in the final 10 minutes of the second to take a 4-3 lead into the third period.
Trailing late in the game, the Flyers showed their comeback ability yet again. Voracek tied the game after a great feed from Claude Giroux at the 7:14 mark of the third period.
Somehow, it wasn’t even Giroux’s best pass of the game. The Flyers’ captain connected with Michael Raffl for the game-winning goal with less than five minutes remaining.
Matt Read iced the game with an empty netter.
Five for fighting
In a true heavyweight bout, Jay Rosehill and Eric Boulton threw down in fisticuffs towards the end of the first period.
Both players landed some good punches before Rosehill registered the takedown.
Close call, but we'll give it a draw.
Flyers head coach Craig Berube pulled Mason after the Islanders’ fourth goal of the game.
Ray Emery came in at the 6:00 mark of the second period and made five saves in relief of Mason.
Don’t mess with Mes
Meszaros is determined to stay in the lineup for good. The defenseman has been a healthy scratch at times this season, but continued his strong offensive play on Saturday.
With his two goals against the Isles, Meszaros now has nine points in his last six games.
He’s still somewhat of a liability in his own zone, but it’s the best Meszaros has looked since he won the Barry Ashbee Trophy in his first season with the Flyers.
Neither club could get much going on the man advantage.
Both the Flyers and Islanders went 0 for 2 on the power play Saturday.
Defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Hal Gill and forward Chris VandeVelde were all healthy scratches.
Rosehill replaced VandeVelde on the fourth line and played with Steve Downie and Hall.
The Flyers will wrap up their season series with the Islanders when they travel to Uniondale for the back-end of this home-and-home on Monday afternoon. Puck drop is 1 p.m. at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.