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Flyers extend winning streak over Isles to 15

PHILADELPHIA - The Islanders managed to bury only one nagging streak last night.

Goal-starved rookie John Tavares snapped a 17-game goalless slump in the first period, but the Islanders again fell victim to the relentless Flyers in a 3-2 loss at Wachovia Center.

Leading 2-1 in the third period, the Islanders took three penalties that led to two power-play goals, allowing the Flyers to extend their winning streak over them 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.

"I'm not even talking about the [15] games," coach Scott Gordon snapped after the game. "We're a depleted squad."

The Islanders are 14th in the Eastern Conference and 10 points out of the final playoff spot with 16 games to play. They have lost three straight.

Ahead by a goal entering the third, the Islanders saw their lead vanish with a Flyers power-play goal at 8:00.

With defenseman Mark Streit in the box for boarding, Claude Giroux scored the equalizer with a deft backhander that he shot past Dwayne Roloson.

Then Bridgeport enforcer Trevor Gillies, called up to replace Blake Comeau, was whistled for boarding. That allowed Simon Gagne's go-ahead goal at 13:54 when his attempted pass to Mike Richards went off Streit's stick and past Roloson.

The Islanders had taken the initiative in the first period and grabbed a 1-0 lead on Tavares' 18th goal, which was just his third goal in 35 games.

After Richard Park's shot squirted through the pads of Flyers goalie Michael Leighton and sat yawning in the crease, Tavares crashed the net and snuck up to the right post to bash in his first goal since Jan. 16 at 7:06.

"It felt awesome," Tavares said. "Being a goal-scorer and an offensive guy, it's always nice to contribute. It was nice to get one finally. I was disappointed with the loss but hopefully, we will have a better result [Thursday against St. Louis]."

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.

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 scored the Flyers' first goal, lifting a shot past Roloson at 12:03.

Then came the fateful third period.

"We don't have the luxury of having a bad period against them," Gordon said.

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