Islanders Outlast Flyers with Shootout Win
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Frans Nielsen and John Tavares finally solved Philadelphia's Steve Mason in a shootout, and the New York Islanders outlasted the Flyers 1-0 on Monday night to post the best 21-game start in franchise history.
Mason stopped 46 shots before the tiebreaker, but after denying Kyle Okposo, he was beaten twice. New York has a team-record 15 wins through 21 games (15-6) and is 5-0 in shootouts.
Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves for his third shutout this season. He has won seven straight, allowing only eight goals. The Islanders have won four in a row and nine of 10.
Philadelphia has dropped five of six overall, and five straight on the road.
Mason was particularly sharp, making 43 saves through regulation, and he was heavily tested in the final few minutes. He reached up to glove Okposo's rising drive with 1:40 left in the third period and fell onto his back in the crease as the whistle blew.
Philadelphia managed only 20 shots in regulation. The Flyers had a great chance to break the deadlock when New York's Matt Martin charged Luke Schenn from behind and slammed him into the boards. But the power play was shortened after 49 seconds when Wayne Simmonds was called for high-sticking.
The Islanders had the better of the chances in the first two periods, and it showed on the scoreboard. New York held a 12-6 shots edge through the opening 20 minutes and 27-16 before the third, not counting several drives that were wide of the mark or deflected out of play.
The only thing that found its way into the net was Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who got shoved in there by Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn with 7:55 left in the second.
Boychuk nearly broke the scoreless tie 46 seconds into the second when he fired a drive from the right point that found its way through traffic and was barely stopped by Mason's skate at the post.
Mason also stood tall when Brock Nelson used speed through the Philadelphia zone to get free to the net. Mason blocked his shot from in close that appeared to catch a piece of the post, too.
Halak faced fewer shots, but also was challenged. He denied Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in tight in the second period, but Halak's best stop came in the first when he held his ground through several dekes as Sean Couturier came in on a short-handed breakaway.
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