Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored his second overtime goal of the season to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center.
Claude Giroux assisted on two of Philadelphia’s three regulation goals and starred on the defensive side as well for the Flyers, who have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games overall (7-2-1) and maintained their lead atop the Eastern Conference with 86 points.
Jeff Carter posted a goal and an assist while Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk also tallied for the Flyers. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 32 saves in the victory.
Matt Martin scored twice and Frans Nielsen tallied the other goal for the Islanders, who have dropped two straight games. New York goaltender Al Montoya yielded four goals on 43 shots.
Last month, Meszaros scored in OT against Washington and this one lit the lamp from practically the exact same spot.
With the clock dwindling in the extra session, the Flyers moved into their offensive zone and Ville Leino had control at the right circle. Leino held the puck, waited, then found Meszaros in the slot before Meszaros buried a wrister into the back of the cage at 4:42.
The Flyers have captured all four meetings with the Isles so far this season and with this victory, have now won 19 of the last 20 games in this series.
The Islanders opened the scoring near the midpoint of the first period courtesy of a great individual effort by Nielsen. From the neutral zone, Nielsen carried the puck down the right-wing side, skated around Flyers defenseman Matt Carle, used his speed to create more space and beat Bobrovsky with a wrister from a sharp angle at the bottom of the circle at 9:03.
Less than two minutes into the second stanza, the Flyers tied it up on Richards’ 19th goal of the season. Richards, who was all alone in the low slot, picked up a loose puck and fired home a turnaround wrister at the 1:58 mark.
Philly moved ahead 2-1 late in the second on a goal by van Riemsdyk, his 15th of the campaign. The play was set up by Giroux, who held control of the puck inside the left circle and sent a blind backhanded pass into the goal mouth. The puck perfectly found the stick of van Riemsdyk, who punched it home from near the left post with 2:29 to play before the intermission.
Carter’s deflection goal 5:05 into the third period gave the hosts a two-goal edge after he, from the base of the left circle, tipped home Giroux’s wrister.
New York answered, though, shortly after. Strong forechecking by the Islanders led to a confused Philadelphia defensive effort and Martin was left all alone in the slot. A pass from behind the net by Michael Haley was on target for Martin, who easily beat Bobrovsky with a one-timer at the 6:31 mark.
With only 27.1 seconds to go in regulation, Martin’s second goal of the night made it 3-3. The puck was deflected high up into the air and Martin, from in close, gloved it, put it down and snapped it into the back of the cage.
Flyers star defenseman Chris Pronger left the game in the third period with an apparent hand injury…This was New York’s 12th straight loss in Philly…The Flyers improved their record against the Atlantic Division to 14-2-1…The teams will meet twice more, once in late March on Long Island before they close their respective regular seasons back here on April 9…Giroux now has 36 assists this season…It was Carter’s 28th goal, and the fifth of 2010-11 for Meszaros…Both teams failed on their only power-play chance.