New York at Philadelphia

Sharp finds net twice to complete Flyers comeback


PHILADELPHIA -- Patrick Sharp picked the perfect time to show his offensive side.

Sharp scored two goals, including the tiebreaker early in the third period, and the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Sharp's performance -- with help from linemates Jeff Carter and Brian Savage -- came when the Flyers' high-scoring line of Simon Gagne, Peter Forsberg, and Mike Knuble had a rare off night. That trio was blanked after combining for 67 points in Philadelphia's previous 13 games.

"Our line isn't looking to score goals every night," Sharp said. "But on a night when Fors and Gags had a rough night, we could chip in."

Gagne had scored seven goals in the previous four games. Forsberg leads the NHL with 24 assists, including 12 in the previous six games.

"I just try to go out and play hard," said Sharp, who helped lead the Philadelphia Phantoms to the Calder Cup championship in the AHL last season. "I'm not looking to necessarily go out and score two goals, but when you do the little things right, things go your way."

Carter had a goal and two assists, and Antero Niittymaki made 38 saves for the Flyers, who have won eight straight at home.

Miroslav Satan and Mike York scored power-play goals in the first period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. New York held a 40-30 shots advantage, including 20-5 in the first period.

Sharp put Philadelphia ahead 3-2 with a slap shot from the right circle. He cut the Flyers' early deficit in half 3:35 into the second period when he fired a shot from almost the same spot.

Islanders coach Steve Stirling said Sharp's winner was the result of a defensive zone breakdown.

"We kind of went brain dead for 10 seconds in a 2-2 game," Stirling explained.

The Islanders scored twice in a 37-second span in the first period.

With New York skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, Satan took a centering pass from Alexei Yashin and one-timed a shot past Niittymaki at 14:39.

York scored on a slap shot from just inside the blue line at 15:16 with the puck bouncing off Flyers defenseman Joni Pitkanen and into the net.

Niittymaki, making his first start since allowing seven goals in an 8-6 loss at Carolina on Oct. 28, was sensational early. He stopped Mark Parrish on a breakaway and then turned away Jason Blake's rebound attempt in the opening minutes. Later, he made a sprawling save on Parrish's close-in attempt.

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said Philadelphia easily could've been down 5-0 if not for Niittymaki's first-period effort.

"You just want to play well and rebound well after a bad game," Niittymaki said. "Sometimes a team doesn't play that well and a goalie has to step up. If a player makes a mistake, the goalie has to stop (the shot). And it goes the other way around."

Sharp said "there were a lot of questions" about how Niittymaki was going to bounce back after the Carolina game.

"But he was on top of his game tonight and he will only get better," Sharp said.

Jeff Carter tied it 2-2 with 3:07 left in the second. Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro stopped R.J. Umberger's breakaway but couldn't control the rebound. Carter flipped the puck in off defenseman Alexei Zhitnik.

"This was one of those games that we didn't deserve to lose," DiPietro said. "They took it to another level in the second period. We needed to have that killer instinct and put teams away."


  • The Islanders went 1-2 on their three-game road trip, losing 6-0 to Ottawa and defeating New Jersey 4-1.
  • Niittymaki had allowed 12 goals in his previous two starts.
  • Zhitnik had his team-leading 11th assist on Satan's goal.
  • The Flyers haven't lost at home since dropping their opener to the New York Rangers.
  • Islanders D Chris Campoli hit the post with a shot late in the third period.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Patrick Sharp's second goal against the Islanders turns out to be the winner for the Flyers. (AP)
Patrick Sharp's second goal against the Islanders turns out to be the winner for the Flyers. (AP)
NY Islanders (7-9-0)2002
Philadelphia  (10-3-1) «0213
Three Stars
P. Sharp

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Carter

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
A. Niittymaki

Saves: 38
Save Pct.: .950

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Scoring Summary
14:39Power Play - Miroslav Satan (9), Wrist Shot - Assists: Alexei Yashin and Alexei Zhitnik
15:16Power Play - Mike York (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Robert Nilsson and Trent Hunter
03:35Patrick Sharp (2), Slap Shot - Assists: Mike Rathje and Jeff Carter
16:53Jeff Carter (5), Wrist Shot - Assist: R.J. Umberger
02:36Patrick Sharp (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Kim Johnsson and Jeff Carter
Penalty Summary
08:30Therien: Tripping - 2 min.
13:51Savage: Roughing - 2 min.
15:32Asham: Fighting - 5 min.
15:32Richards: Fighting - 5 min.
09:33Zhitnik: Hooking - 2 min.
16:01Forsberg: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
16:44Kvasha: Tripping - 2 min.
18:35Zhitnik: Roughing - 2 min.
05:24Kvasha: Holding - 2 min.
14:38Sim: Interference - 2 min.
New York20128 40
Philadelphia5178 30
Attendance - 19601
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Blaine Angus, Eric Furlatt
Line Judges - Don Henderson, Brad Kovachik
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