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Islanders lose to Flyers for the 13th straight time

Islanders goalie Martin Biron clears the puck against

Islanders goalie Martin Biron clears the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers' Daniel Carcillo during the second period at Nassau Coliseum. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Well, at least one New York team stopped a lengthy winning streak last night.

The last cheer from the crowd of 12,819 at Nassau Coliseum came late in the third period when the Jumbotron flashed the score of the Jets-Colts game, one in which the Jets kept their playoff hopes alive by dropping the previously unbeaten Colts to 14-1.

But the Islanders had no such luck ending the Flyers' streak against them. Philadelphia beat the Islanders for the 13th straight time, 2-1, a streak that dates to the 2007-08 season.

The Flyers, who have not lost to the Islanders since Feb. 12, 2008, currently hold the NHL's longest active winning streak over an opponent.

Islanders coach Scott Gordon surmised that the Flyers' size advantage was the common denominator for his team's struggles against Philadelphia.

"When you look at our lineup versus theirs, there is a big size differential," he said. "It's a better matchup for them."

Despite any physical shortcomings, however, the fact remains that Philadelphia entered the game one point behind the Islanders in the Eastern Conference standings with a 17-18-2 record and 36 points.

Also troubling is the fact that goaltender Martin Biron is now 2-11-2. Sunday night did not compare to some of the clunkers his teammates have thrown his way throughout this season, but they again provided little offensive support, picking up only a second-period goal by Jon Sim.

It was the ninth time this season that the Islanders have been held to one or no goals for Biron.

"Marty's been playing great and we haven't given him any offensive support," forward Trent Hunter said. "We've hung him out to dry a few times this season. We've got to go to bat for everyone on this team."

Biron gave up only two goals on 30 shots against his former teammates, but it wasn't good enough to eke out his third win of the season.

Philadelphia took the lead when Jeff Carter got past defensemen Jack Hillen and Andy Sutton and dished to Danny Briere, who went top shelf on Biron at 1:51 of the first period.

The Islanders tied it in the second period when Mark Streit wrangled an airborne puck and beat Chris Pronger to feed Sim in front of the net at 3:35, but the Flyers reclaimed the lead later in the period. After an odd-man rush, Scott Hartnell faked a shot and connected with Carter, who beat Biron short side at 16:53.

Briere almost scored again as he nudged his own rebound past the left post with his right skate, but after video review, the goal was waved off at 3:06 in the third period.

"I thought we maybe caught a break," Biron said. "It would've been a nice momentum change."

The Islanders did not build on that opportunity, however. In the process, they failed to stop their skid against the Flyers and missed a chance to stack together three straight wins.

"Tonight was a missed opportunity," Hunter said. "But we can't dwell on it. We just have to refocus and move forward."

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