Flyers hold off Islanders' rally


Published: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mike Knuble had a goal and an assist, and the suddenly surging Philadelphia Flyers held off the hard-charging New York Islanders 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Robert Esche stopped 40 shots, but nearly lost a 3-0 lead when Jason Blake and Mike Sillinger scored 33 seconds apart in the final three minutes.

That was the most offense the Islanders had mustered in a week. New York had been shut out twice in the previous three games and had only one goal overall.

Blake snapped the Islanders' team-record scoreless streak of 186 minutes, 31 seconds late in a 3-1 loss at Ottawa on Monday and then saved them from another shutout when he scored with 2:57 left. Sillinger scored at 17:36 to make it 3-2, answering third-period goals by Kyle Calder and Ryan Potulny that gave Philadelphia what appeared to be a comfortable lead.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the Flyers have won a season-high three straight — all on the road — right after a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak. Even with this spurt, Philadelphia still owns an NHL-low 11 wins.

CANADIENS 5, LIGHTNING 2

Tomas Plekanec scored his second goal of the game 6:01 into the third period, sending the host Montreal Canadiens to a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning . Plekanec, who entered with three goals in 38 games, beat Johan Holmqvist in the second for his first goal in 14 games to tie it at 1. The Czech forward connected again in the third for his second career multigoal game, giving Montreal its second and final lead. He hit the post later in the period.

PENGUINS 3, HURRICANES 0

Sidney Crosby scored twice and set up another goal to become the first NHL player with 60 points this season, and the Pittsburgh Penguins relied on Marc-Andre Fleury's strong goaltending to beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina outscored Pittsburgh 11-3 in winning the first two games of the four-game season series, but got nothing past Fleury in his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career. He made 31 saves.

RANGERS 3, DEVILS 2, SO

Marcel Hossa scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the New York Rangers a victory over the New Jersey Devils. Michael Nylander and Petr Prucha scored in regulation for the Rangers, who ended a five-game road losing streak.

WILD 5, THRASHERS 1

Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and two assists, Mark Parrish scored twice and the Minnesota Wild extended their dominance at home with a victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Brian Rolston also scored for Minnesota, which tied a season high with its eighth straight home win. It was just the second time in that stretch the Wild won by more than one goal.

BLACKHAWKS 4, BLUES 1

Nikolai Khabibulin made 38 saves and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks erased a third-period deficit with a three-goal flurry, ending the St. Louis Blues' eight-game point streak. Manny Legace hadn't allowed a goal in 127 minutes, 13 seconds and appeared headed for his second consecutive shutout before the Blackhawks scored three times on six shots in a span of 3:23 to erase a 1-0 deficit.

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