Flyers Lose Jagr, Beat Islanders In Overtime

23 Nov

Sergei Bobrovsky and Danny Briere eventually gave the Flyers a reason to be thankful, but they also lost Jaromir Jagr to injury. Again. Briere scored the final two goals of the game to beat the Islanders 4-3 in overtime, but the concerning story is the loss of Jagr.

Jagr got crunched along the boards in the second period and after a short chat with trainer Jim McCrossin, skated off the ice and into the locker room. General manager Paul Holmgren announced the injury to be of the lower-body variety, but in all likelihood, the 39-year-old probably re-injured his groin that kept him out of each of the last two games.

“I didn’t go 100 percent,” said Jagr after practice on Tuesday, “but I don’t want to do anything stupid to not be able to skate [Wednesday].”

Now it appears as though the comeback was premature. Even Jagr’s 7:52 of ice time wasn’t much help to the Flyers. He was a minus-2 on the night, which started off at a furious pace. After the game, Jagr told reporters in New York that he will sit out the next two games and hope to return on Dec. 2 against Anaheim.

Just 18 seconds into the contest, Andrej Meszaros led the rush into the Islanders’ zone and fired a slapshot from just inside the blueline past Rick Di Pietro.

The Islanders had a quick answer when Kyle Okposo took a feed from Michael Grabner and one-timed the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov only 19 seconds after the Flyers’ goal. The scoreless drought for the Islanders ended at 142 minutes and 12 seconds.

Okposo struck again on a power play when he darted into the Flyers’ zone and took a pass from Grabner on the back door to make it 2-1. Bryzgalov gave up another one with two and a half minutes left in the first period when Grabner beat him from the right wing on the far side. Bryzgalov saw it all the way and should have had it.

Peter Laviolette had seen enough at the first intermission and pulled Bryzgalov in lieu of Sergei Bobrovsky. The starter’s night ended with three goals allowed on nine shots.

The Flyers started their comeback in the second period when Scott Hartnell scored just as a power play had expired. He took a strange bounce off the back boards and put the puck over DiPietro’s head and in to make it a 3-2 game.

Despite Bobrovsky’s strong play in relief, it looked like the Flyers were doomed heading into Thanksgiving, but Danny Briere tied the game late in the third. He too caught a strange bounce from the back boards. Di Pietro couldn’t corral it and Briere roofed it over him for his first goal in five games.

The Flyers were forced to kill off a Scott Hartnell penalty in overtime, but came through. Hartnell got the puck after he came out of the box and went into the Islanders’ zone with Briere, dropped the puck to him and Briere scored again for the overtime winner.

Bobrovsky came up huge for the Flyers, making 23 saves, including a few very important ones on the last power play by the Islanders. His stellar play will give Laviolette a very interesting decision to make when the Flyers play the Montreal Canadiens on Black Friday.

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