New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya (35) blocks a shot...

New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya (35) blocks a shot by Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux (28) in the second period of an NHL hockey game. (Feb. 24, 2011) Credit: AP

PHILADELPHIA - During the past two weeks, the Islanders have talked plenty about transformation. They're having fun, they're scoring goals, they're a different team under coach Jack Capuano.

That much was evident in their gutsy effort to erase a two-goal third-period deficit last night. And in the way Andrew MacDonald and Michael Grabner sacrificed their bodies to block shots in the overtime period. And in the way the depleted defense stepped up against the deep Flyers.

But Philadelphia still gives them trouble.

Matt Martin scored twice in the third period, including the tying goal with 27.1 seconds left in regulation, but the Islanders fell to the Flyers, 4-3, when Andrej Meszaros scored the winner with 17.6 seconds left in overtime.

"We haven't had too much success [here], but we battled back, and it's unfortunate how it finished," Martin said.

The Islanders have dropped 19 of their past 20 games against the Flyers and the last 12 in Philadelphia. They have not won a game here since April 7, 2007.

Capuano was pleased with his team's comeback effort.

"We were good tonight," he said. "That was one of the best games we've played. That was exciting to be back behind the bench tonight. I was proud of the guys. We never quit."

With the Flyers up 2-1 in the third period, Jeff Carter deflected Claude Giroux's shot in front past Al Montoya at 5:05. Carter has 18 goals and 22 assists for 40 points in 37 games against the Islanders.

Less than two minutes later, Micheal Haley dug the puck out along the end boards and flipped it to Martin, who pulled the Islanders within 3-2 at 6:31.

Martin netted his second of the period to tie the score at 19:32 of the third, but Meszaros scored the winner in overtime on a shot from the high slot.

"They came down on a two-on-one . . . and the guy made a great play," said Montoya, who made 39 saves in his fourth consecutive start. "I got back in position and just saw it at the last second. Great shot, top corner. This is a tough one to swallow."

The Flyers limited the Islanders to six shots in the first period, but Frans Nielsen scored on the third.

Nielsen breezed along the boards, beating Darroll Powe and then defenseman Matt Carle before ripping a shot from the right circle to beat rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 9:03. Defenseman Jack Hillen and Montoya picked up assists on the end-to-end play.

The Flyers surged in the second, scoring a pair of goals.

Flyers captain Mike Richards tied the score at 1:58 with his goal from the slot. Islanders defenseman Ty Wishart went down after being pegged in the skate by a shot, and before he could get back into the play, the Flyers capitalized.

Giroux then gifted linemate James van Riemsdyk with a beautiful, no-look backhand pass. Van Riemsdyk beat Montoya for a 2-1 Flyers lead at 17:31.

"Unbelievable effort with our young defensive corps," Montoya said. "They could have seized up, but they didn't."

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