Giroux’s shootout goal lifts Flyers over Islanders
Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol was happy that his team put together a strong effort for a full game against the Islanders.
The Flyers came away with a 3-2 shootout victory Thursday night when Claude Giroux scored the lone goal of the tiebreaker.
“I liked our entire 65 minutes,” Hakstol said.
Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek also scored for the Flyers, who improved to 6-5-1 with their third straight victory.
“Played a full game,” Konecny said. “A full 60 minutes. I was really happy and all the guys were really happy with that one.”
Dennis Seidenberg and John Taveres had goals for the Islanders and Jaroslav Halak stopped 40 of 42 shots.
Despite both teams struggling to stop their opponents, neither scored in the first period. Philadelphia outshot New York 14-8 in the period and 42-27 for the game.
“They were better in the first period,” Halak said. “Don’t know the reason why. We just have to come out the way they did. Like I said, I think in the second and the third we were better. But 60 minute effort right now is missing. Sometimes you can get away with 40, 45 minute effort. Right now we need 60.”
Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves for the Flyers.
Konecny got the Flyers on the board in the second period. He corralled a stretch pass from Radko Gudas and fired a shot that Halak stopped, but the goalie wasn’t able to control the rebound and Philadelphia’s rookie center put in his second goal of the season.
It also marked only the fourth time this season that Philadelphia scored the first goal and was also the Flyers’ league-leading 21st second period goal.
“We didn’t give up a whole lot, that’s the difference,” Sean Couturier said. “Usually we’re giving scoring chances we’re given up too many goals. Tonight was one of those games where we tightened things up. We scored less goals but we found way to win.”
The lead lasted for all of 8:20, as Tavares tapped in a power-play goal with 29 seconds left in the period. The goal was Tavares’ fifth overall and his second on the power play.
The Islanders went ahead 2-1 on Seidenberg’s goal with 7:05 left. It was his fourth of the season. Voracek tied it with less than a minute left when he put in his seventh goal of the season.
Voracek’s goal was a power play goal which occurred after Casey Cizikas high-sticked Giroux.
“They had six guys, we had four, so we’re in the penalty box. It’s four power play goals the last two games. And it’s truly cost us,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “Casey was just trying to play hockey and his stick came up a little bit.”
New York dropped to 4-6-1 with its fourth loss in five games.
“The level of concern for me is a power play goal with (Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Tavares on the ice) and (an even strength goal from) Seidenberg,” Capuano said. “That’s my concern. Where are we going to get point production? One hundred and thirty four points out of our lineup that we lost (in the off-season defections of Matt Martin, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen). Now we have to find a way. Like everything gets magnified, I get it. You guys are talking about the (losses) lately, it’s a power play goal, but we have to find a way to get some balanced offense in our hockey team.
“That’s my concern.”
Prior to the game, the Flyers announced D Andrew MacDonald would miss a week with a lower body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Nick Schultz. The team also noted C Boyd Gordon was placed on the injured reserve. Left winger Michael Raffl was activated in the corresponding roster move, and skated on a line with Giroux and RW Wayne Simmonds . ... RW Dale Weise was scratched. ... New York scratched G Jean-Francois Berube, LW Anthony Beauvillier and C Matthew Barzal . ... The game was the first of four regular season meetings between the longtime rivals. The Flyers and Islanders are scheduled to play Jan. 22 in New York, Feb. 9 in Philadelphia and Mar. 30 in Philadelphia.
Flyers: Play at Montreal Saturday.
Islanders: Play Edmonton Saturday.
Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) shoots and scores against New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) during a shootout Thursday in New York.