Flyers crush Islanders, 6-1

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Chris Pronger celebrates his second period goal with teammates. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Before Saturday's matchup with the New York Islanders, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and his players not only dismissed the difficulty of playing back-to-back games, but talked of embracing the challenge.

Then the Flyers went out and backed up their enthusiasm with Saturday's 6-1 pummeling of the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

The win, the Flyers' 11th in a row at home against the Islanders, came after Friday's 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh. It was the Flyers' second set of back-to-back games this week.

The week began with Monday's 2-1 loss in Columbus, followed by Tuesday's 6-3 victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres, and ended with the impressive weekend work.

"All week, with the exception of the Columbus game, we wanted to rebound and get our identity back," said Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who scored two power-play goals. "We did it against Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and here tonight."

Before the game, Laviolette said that because the Islanders played on Friday, losing by 3-1 at home to the Montreal Canadians, neither team had an advantage.

"Let's play," he said.

And play they did.

Now 6-4-1 and owning their first three-game winning streak of the young season, the Flyers experienced another first - a goal by a defenseman. The back-liners enjoyed scoring so much, they did it three times.

Just 2 minutes, 36 seconds into the game, Kimmo Timonen, stationed in front of the goal, converted a feed from behind the net by Scott Hartnell for the Flyers' first goal this season by a defenseman.

The blue liners were just warming up.

Pronger made it 4-0 with 15:38 remaining in the second period on a power-play goal, a slap shot from inside the blue line.

In between, center Jeff Carter scored two goals.

After Pronger's goal, the Flyers' Daniel Carcillo and Islanders' Zenon Konopka engaged in one of the longest fights anybody will see, with both landing their share of blows. (The two would also be assessed fighting majors in the third period during a much shorter bout).

Shortly after Pronger's goal, the Islanders gave the Flyers a 5-on-3 advantage when Trent Hunter was assessed a five- minute penalty and a game misconduct for boarding Andrej Meszaros.

Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro then skated near center ice to join a potential scrum and was assessed a two-minute penalty for leaving his crease.

Remarkably, the Islanders scored their first goal down two skaters after Frans Nielsen was awarded a penalty shot when he was taken down by Pronger while skating on goal.

Nielsen converted on a backhander that he slipped past goalie Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky. It was the only mistake in an otherwise brilliant effort by Bobrovsky, who wasn't bothered by the back-to-back games.

"It was actually better because I played Friday and felt good," Bobrovsky said through an interpreter.

Pronger made up for the penalty by scoring his second goal, and Andreas Nodl made it 6-1 late in the second period with his second goal of the week and the season.

The news wasn't all positive. Meszaros and Nodl left the game with upper-body injuries and will be evaluated Sunday.

With the game out of hand, the rough-house play continued. The Islanders Trevor Gilles receiving a triple minor, six minutes for roughing plus a 10-minute misconduct with 3:37 left in the third period.

With 1 minute remaining, Danny Briere received a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for cross checking Nielsen

"When you get embarrassed like that, there is obviously a lot of frustration, and they didn't like that and had to respond some way, somehow, and that was one way to do it with their fists and finishing their checks," Briere said.

The Flyers won't get much of a break, returning to action Monday against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes.

 


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@Phillynews.com.