Tavares scores 2, but Philly gets Laviolette his first win
PHILADELPHIA - Winless against the Flyers in their previous 11 games, The Islanders suffered their 12th straight defeat against their division foes last night in a 6-2 walloping that snapped Philadelphia's five-game losing streak and gave new coach Peter Laviolette his first win with the Flyers at Wachovia Center.
Unable to find the answer to the lopsided series, the Islanders have not beaten the Flyers since Feb. 12, 2008.
The Islanders got behind Philadelphia early and were left swaying and swinging aimlessly as a potent Flyers offense tagged former Flyers goaltender Martin Biron for six goals.
"As a whole, it was a terrible game for me and a terrible game for everyone on the team," said Biron, who has not won since Nov. 13.
Three Flyers - Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux - scored two goals each, and although John Tavares also scored a pair of goals, the Islanders could not stop a relentless and desperate Flyers team.
"Overall, we didn't have enough intensity, we didn't have enough desire," Tavares said.
Richards gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with his power-play goal at 9:47 of the first period with his sharp wrister, the Flyers' first power-play goal in six games.
Richards scored again later in the first, as the Islanders gave up their first shorthanded goal of the season. Richards, who led the league with seven shorthanded goals last year, stripped the puck from defenseman Mark Streit in the neutral zone, walked in and went top shelf on Biron at 15:14.
"We started off the wrong way," coach Scott Gordon said. "To give up that power-play goal is one thing, but to give up that shorthanded goal is another . . . We got ourselves in a hole that we couldn't get out of."
Eight seconds after Brendan Witt went to the box for holding, Jeff Carter made the damage 3-0 by beating Biron short side on a hard-angle shot at 4:21 of the second period.
Carter gave Philadelphia its first even-strength goal at 7:04, lurking near the crease and banging in a rebound to put the Islanders in a 4-0 hole.
With a five-on-three advantage, Tavares put the Islanders on the board at 10:52 as he fired on an empty net to chip away at a daunting Flyers lead.
Moments later, Chris Pronger gifted the Islanders with another five-on-three power-play with his boarding penalty as he smashed Tavares along the boards, leaving him on his back in pain.
Tavares recovered quickly, however, and scored his second power-play goal of the game at 14:55, handling Matt Moulson's deflection attempt and putting it past Brian Boucher for his 13th goal of the season.
Giroux deflated the Islanders' comeback effort, however, as his one-timer reclaimed the Flyers' three-goal lead at 17:29 for Philadelphia's third power-play goal.
The Islanders' frustration was unleashed in an all-encompassing third-period brawl that Tavares started by crosschecking Scott Hartnell in the back to protect Biron. After Moulson and Hartnell took to solving the dispute, secondary fights broke out and even Biron got leveled by Pronger as he attempted to climb to his feet.
"I was just trying to get him off [Biron]," Tavares said. "In a game like that, emotions were getting high."
Notes & quotes: Tim Jackman (hip) and Sean Bergenheim (rib) both left the game with injuries.