Isles continue futility in Philly
PHILADELPHIA -- The Islanders' 7-4 loss to the Flyers Saturday night was much like the entire season -- crazy, dramatic and ultimately disappointing.
Despite recovering from an atrocious start and a 2-0 deficit in their season finale, the Islanders fell to the Flyers for the 21st time in 22 games.
The Flyers completed a season sweep of the Islanders for the second time in three years, snapping a season-high five-game losing streak and capturing the Atlantic Division title in the process. Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros finished with two goals and two assists.
Losers in seven of the last eight games, the Islanders finished the season in 27th place, which gives them a 10.7 percent chance of nabbing the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday's NHL draft lottery. The Islanders have not won in Philadelphia in more than four years, dating to their 4-2 victory April 7, 2007.
"We didn't come out as hard as we should have," John Tavares said. "It's our last game of the year . . . It's going to be a long summer. We just have to improve in the offseason. We just ran out of steam at the end."
Said Islanders coach Jack Capuano, "They're four lines deep, and with their six defensemen, they are a dangerous team, no question. They have all the elements to be a Stanley Cup champion. To fall behind 2-0 in a hostile environment . . . I thought we responded OK, but they were a little too much to handle down low.''
After giving up two goals in the first 47 seconds -- Kimmo Timonen scored 16 seconds into the game -- the Islanders rallied to tie the score twice in the first period.
After Michael Grabner went five-hole on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to cut the Flyers' lead in half, rookie defenseman Travis Hamonic delivered his second tying goal in 24 hours.
Hamonic, who sent the Islanders and Penguins into overtime Friday night with 35 seconds left in regulation, unleashed another blast from the point to knot it at 2 with a power-play goal at 9:31.
Danny Briere's top-shelf backhander beat Rick DiPietro 19 seconds after Hamonic's equalizer for a 3-2 Flyers lead, but Tavares erased it minutes later. He poked in a puck that was skittering along the goal line and netted his 29th goal of the season, one shy of the 30-goal benchmark already achieved by teammates Grabner (34) and Matt Moulson (31). Tavares finished with a goal and two assists.
PA Parenteau notched a milestone 20th goal less than a minute into the second, but the Flyers outscored the Islanders 2-1 in the middle frame.
After tying the score at 4, Meszaros picked up an assist on the Flyers' go-ahead goal in the second; Scott Hartnell scored his second goal when he squeaked a shot short-side for a 5-4 lead at 18:29. Meszaros then sealed it with a power-play goal at 9:40 of the third.
"Probably the toughest team in the league [to fall behind early],'' Parenteau said. "I think we showed a lot of character in this building to come back like that, but at the end of the day, you want to win the game, and we didn't.''
The Islanders were 26-29-10 under Capuano, who is a virtual lock to return next season. Before the game, he addressed his job status, saying: "I'd love the opportunity to be back behind the bench with a team that, I feel, has a bright future."
Notes & quotes:The Islanders signed defenseman Shane Sims, 22, to an emergency-basis NHL amateur tryout, the third such agreement in as many games. Sims made his NHL debut in place of injured Jack Hillen (shoulder).