Islanders pounded in matinee game
Claude Giroux had seen enough once the Philadelphia Flyers absorbed a one-sided defeat to Montreal in the midst of an already tough trip.
The new captain met with his club for a few minutes Saturday and told his teammates the effort and production weren’t good enough from anyone — including himself.
The message wasn’t kept behind closed doors. Giroux made a public declaration that things had to change quickly. In his first chance to put his words into action, Giroux led by brilliant example.
Giroux scored 26 seconds into Monday’s matinee against the New York Islanders, and added a goal and assist in the second period of the Flyers’ 7-0 victory.
Giroux combined with linemates Matt Read and Jake Voracek for three goals and 10 points as Philadelphia (7-9-1) earned just its third road win in 12 away games this season.
”We played with attitude. High intensity, and played as a team,” Giroux said. ”That’s how we have to play – a full 60 minutes. We didn’t let down and we wanted to win. I think it showed.”
Read had a goal and two assists, and Voracek, added to the line late in Saturday’s loss, had a career-high four assists. Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves for his first shutout of the season and 30th in the NHL.
The Flyers blocked 23 shots in front of him.
Giroux led from the opening shift that included a hit on Islanders star John Tavares before starting the scoring. He hadn’t scored in seven games, and netted only one goal in 14 after posting a goal in each of Philadelphia’s first two games.
”When you’re a young guy and you become captain, it’s a pretty heavy weight sometimes,” veteran forward Mike Knuble said. ”A lot of the extra things that go along with being captain maybe drag you down a little bit and maybe make you feel like you’re playing with a lot on your back.
”You could tell that he got something out of his system and was playing like the point-per-game guy that he is.”
Zac Rinaldo scored his first of the season, and third of his NHL career, to make it 5-0 at 3:31 of the third. Danny Briere scored twice in the final period, first on a power play with 9:33 left and then with 2:14 remaining.
”Everybody took a good hard look in the mirror,” Briere said. ”(The meeting) wasn’t very long, but it was to the point, saying that we need everybody to get into the game. What he did the last few years for this team, I think he earned a lot of respect throughout the room.
”He could’ve done the same thing without being captain and I think everybody would’ve responded the same way.”
In between Giroux’s goals, Read and Brayden Schenn scored for the Flyers, who had lost three of the first four on a six-game trip that ends Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
”You’d like to bottle it up and carry it right into Pitt,” coach Peter Laviolette said.
Evgeni Nabokov played better than his statistics showed and made 18 saves for New York (6-8-1). He kept the Islanders in it during the first period that was dominated by Philadelphia.
”Our battle level was nowhere near where it had to be,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. ”We have to find better ways to find it. We have to generate more.
”Nabby has been there for us. I didn’t think of taking him out.”
The Flyers connected just 15 seconds into the second when Read scored his seventh, putting in a rebound of Giroux’s shot. Schenn scored a power-play goal at 7:57, and Giroux connected again with 5:15 left.
Philadelphia scored three times on just six second-period shots.
The Islanders couldn’t sustain momentum generated by wins over the rival New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils in their previous two games following a five-game losing streak. While the Flyers will soon be heading home, the Islanders begin a three-game trip at Ottawa on Tuesday.
”We have to just put this behind us,” Islanders captain Mark Streit said. ”We were terrible start to finish. This was not acceptable in any way. We have a chance to get a good night’s sleep and come out strong (Tuesday).”
The Islanders had been riding a hot power-play unit that scored on seven of 12 chances the previous three games, but it failed them during a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted a full two minutes in the first and generated only one shot.
”That was a huge momentum swing on our part,” Briere said.
NOTES: It was Philadelphia’s most lopsided regular-season shutout win since topping Atlanta 7-0 on Oct. 28, 2008. … The Flyers have scored 14 goals in road wins over the Islanders and Florida this season, but have netted only 15 in their other nine road games. … The Flyers have gone six consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal (21-for-21). They have killed 38 of 40 over 10 games. … Tavares was chosen as the NHL’s first star of past week after scoring five goals and adding two assists in three games. … Islanders D Brian Strait injured his left ankle during the second period when he appeared to catch his skate in the ice without being hit and crashed into the boards. After the game, the team learned Strait had fractured his left ankle and he was placed on the injured list. The Islanders activated defenseman Radek Martinek from the injured list. … Rinaldo hadn’t scored since March 15, 2012, also against the Islanders.