Late rally, sharp shooting get Isles past Flyers in SO
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Okposo tied the game late in the third period and scored the game-winner in the shootout as the New York Islanders avoided both a home-and-home and a season series sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-3 win at Nassau Coliseum.
Okposo scored on a backhand to open the fourth round of the tiebreaker. Anders Nilsson, in his first action for New York since Dec. 9, turned away Sean Couturier's bid to claim just the second win of his NHL career.
Nilsson made 26 saves for an Islanders team that struck twice in the third to erase a 3-1 deficit after blowing a lead in the final frame of Saturday's 6-4 loss at Wells Fargo Center.
"This is a team we always seem to have trouble with," said Isles captain John Tavares. "And we obviously need to be better in these divisional games. So when we got down a couple goals, we were a desperate team."
The Flyers had outscored New York 16-8 while winning the first three meetings.
Ray Emery stopped 40 shots for Philadelphia.
Philly scored all three of its goals in the second period. Matt Read lit the lamp twice and Wayne Simmonds added career goal No. 99.
New York sustained pressure in the Philadelphia zone after a fruitless power play and Josh Bailey sent a pass through the crease that Brock Nelson buried for a back-door tally at 8:16 of the third for s 3-2 score.
New York did tie the game on a late power play, as a tic-tac-toe passing sequence led to the puck being directed in by the skate of Okposo at the left post with 2:58 remaining. The goal stood following a review to determine if there was a distinct kicking motion.
Emery robbed Michael Grabner late in the first period, gloving the speedy Islanders forward's backhander on a short-handed breakaway to keep the game scoreless.
Nilsson wasn't able to deny Read with the Flyers down a man early in the second period. He lugged the puck down into the New York zone, powered his way in from the left wing and beat Nilsson with a backhander for a short- handed goal at 1:26.
Tavares briefly tied the game after he buried a bouncing puck on a power play, but Simmonds put Philadelphia back on top 2:04 later. After a give-and- go with Scott Hartnell, Simmonds swept in his own rebound from the doorstep at 11:30.
Read's second goal came from almost the same spot on the ice, but this time he chipped the puck with his forehand behind Nilsson and under the crossbar with 1:44 remaining.
"It's something we've struggled with, letting teams back in the game. It's a matter of not moving our feet and taking stupid penalties," Read stated. "We have to learn from this and move forward."
Read scored six goals against the Islanders this season, giving him 10 in 14 career games ... Emery has yet to lose a game in regulation to the Islanders in his career (7-0-2) ... The Islanders improved to 7-17-2 when trailing after two periods. ... The hosts picked up their first non-regulation home win over Philadelphia since Feb. 27, 2007, when Trent Hunter scored in overtime to secure a 6-5 victory ... Flyers forward Jakub Voracek briefly left the game, but returned, with a hand injury. He was listed as day-to-day with further evaluation once the club returns home.
01/20 18:18:32 ET