PHILADELPHIA - The Islanders managed to bury only one nagging streak last night.
Leading 2-1 in the third period, the Islanders took three penalties and coughed up two power-play goals, allowing the Flyers to extend their winning streak over the Islanders to 15 games. Not only is that the longest active streak in the NHL, it also set a franchise record for Philadelphia.
The Islanders have not beaten their Eastern Conference rivals since Feb. 12, 2008.
Meyer wasn't exaggerating about the team's dire straits. The Islanders entered last night's game ranked 14th in the Eastern Conference and nine points out of the final playoff spot.
They did not help themselves as the team crumbled in the third period for its third straight loss.
Ahead by a goal entering the third, the Islanders saw their lead vanish with a Flyers power-play goal at 8:00.
After recently recalled Bridgeport enforcer Trevor Gillies was whistled for boarding, Simon Gagne tallied the go-ahead goal at 13:54.
"We've had a tough run against them the past couple of seasons," Meyer said before the game, "but we just have to come out and play our game."
The Islanders more than matched the Flyers in the first period, when they took a 1-0 lead on Tavares' 18th goal.
After Richard Park's shot squirted through Michael Leighton's pads and sat yawning in the crease, Tavares crashed the net and snuck up to the right post to slip through his first goal since Jan. 16 at 7:06.
"His game hasn't trailed off even in his frustration about not being able to score," coach Scott Gordon said before the game. "He's been nothing more than snake-bitten." It was Tavares' third goal in 35 games.
Both the Flyers and Islanders were left hobbled after a black-and-blue first period. The Flyers' Lukas Krajicek, James Van Riemsdyk and Dan Carcillo all left the ice with injuries.
Although Carcillo's injury appeared to be much more serious than those suffered by Krajicek and Van Riemsdyk - they both took pucks to the face - all three returned in the second period.
Rob Schremp was not as fortunate. Schremp suffered a right knee injury in the first period and did not return; he's expected to be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead in the second period with a wicked wrist shot from above the right circle at 10:27, but Jeff Carter cut the Islanders' lead in half, lifting a shot past Roloson at 12:03.
Then came the third period, when the Flyers rallied to extend their streak.
"We don't have the luxury of having a bad period against them," Gordon said.