Being in the right place at the right time finally paid off for Scott Hartnell this season.
Hartnell made that his living last season when he scored a team-high 37 goals. This year, he has four goals in 17 games, and had only one in the 11 games leading into last night.
Last night, Hartnell scored twice, including the game-tying goal with 30 seconds left in the Flyers 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Islanders. He even dropped the mitts with Colin McDonald, who also had two of New York's goals.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell is stopped by Evgeni Nabokov in the 3rd period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
With the Islanders fresh off of their biggest win of the year in DC, they moved towards Philadelphia with the 8th seed in sight. Their eyes were certainly on the scoreboard to see what the Rangers were doing in Ottawa.
However, they needed to take control and take care of business in Philly first. Two important points were on the line.
Playing in Philly has been nothing short of a nightmare in recent years for the orange and blue. So when the road Isles went down 2-0 early, no one could have expected a come back could be in the works.
But these Islanders have shown a lot of grit and persistence on the road. They battled back behind Colin McDonald's two goal party.
Ullstrom is most effective when he's skating hard and working the forecheck to create turnovers. When he is on, he's also a pest and easily gets under the skin of opponents, all the while playing a clean game.
When Ullstrom is doing these little things, that's when he is creating his best offense. Forcing turnovers and converting them to offense is the hallmark of the young Swede.
Over the past few years the New York Islanders may have found consistency on the top line due largely in part to the chemistry between John Tavares and Matt Moulson. But the same cannot be said for much of the depth on offense.
That is until Casey Cizikas began centering Matt Martin and Colin McDonald.
The trio have been playing together as a fourth line, or as head coach Jack Capuano has liked calling them, "the energy line."
It took a dramatic finish, but the New York Islanders finally won a game on home ice during a Sunday matinee game, defeating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in the shootout.
The Islanders got on the board early in the game when Brad Boyes scored his fifth of the year, beating Robin Lehner glove side under the crossbar. The play started when Matt Moulson received a pass from Mark Streit at the Senators blue line and fed Boyes the puck as he was flying up the slot.
Not long after Boyes' goal, Matt Martin was found banging bodies all over the ice. In fact Martin had 6 hits in just over 3 minutes of play during the first period. Senators enforcer Chris Neil took exception to Martin's physical play and challenged him to a fight, but Martin ignored his request and continued to take out Senators along the wall.
He finished with 11 hits on the night. Coming into the game, Martin was just one shy of tying Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott for the league lead of 94 hits.
The Islanders begin a 7 game home stand tonight when Carolina storms into the Nassau Coliseum. New York has found a way to get back to winning ways and packing their bags may have been the medicine for their losing ways.
Fans have been frustrated with the fact that the team has not played well at home this year. Their league worst 2-6-0 record at home supports the notion that they are simply not playing up to par in front of the home fans.
For whatever reason, the Islanders have played much better on the road and even in losing efforts they just come across as a stronger team. They are truly fortunate that they have found ways to beat great teams in their own buildings marking down a 6-3-1 record away from Long Island.