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New York Islanders

Islanders Give Fans Reason To Cheer In Win Over Flyers



AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Elmont, NY– The last time the New York Islanders played at UBS Arena, they walked off the ice under a downpour of boos in what was, at the time, their fourth straight loss.

When Joel Farabee scored for the Philadelphia Flyers with a little more than four minutes left in the third period on Wednesday night, you could feel the crowd once again get restless.

But rather than collapsing in the final period as they have so many times before, the Islanders held their ground, giving their fans a reason to cheer in their return home with a 3-2 win over the Flyers.

“We played a good hockey game,” Anders Lee said. “It was a tight game. We played the right way in a lot of spots, so both [us and the fans] are happy.”

The win gave the Islanders points in four straight contests and was their first in regulation in their last nine games, elevating their record to 7-6-5.

Brock Nelson scored his team-leading ninth and tenth goals of the season against the Flyers.

Stanced directly in front of the goal, Nelson deflected in a shot from Adam Pelech off a pass from Pierre Engvall to put New York ahead 2-0  in the second period.

Early in the third, Engvall once again helped set up Nelson, this time with an excellent cross-ice feed that Nelson went back door with. Ryan Pulock had an assist on the goal as well.

While Nelson has had no problem finding the back of the net this year, the same can’t be said for Lee.

The Islanders captain couldn’t buy himself a goal to begin the season, scoring just once in his first 15 games. With his game-opening goal on Wednesday, Lee has now scored twice in his last three games.

“I’d like to say it’s just going in [right now],” Lee said. “It’s one of those things you got to stick with it. Stick with your game, continue to believe, work hard and get the puck to the net. Opportunities will continue to come, and I’ll do my best to capitalize on them. But it doesn’t hurt when you get a nice bounce.”

Set up by Oliver Wahlstrom, Lee made a quick pivot to the front of the net and pushed the puck between the post and the left pad of Flyers goalie Carter Hart for an early goal that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Unquestionably, though, the loudest cheer of the night came in honor of Cal Clutterbuck, who skated in his thousandth career game.

“I’ve been treated with nothing but respect and on this island by the fans,” Clutterbuck said. “I’m just really grateful that I was able to do it here and in front of them.”

Shortly after Nelson’s goal in the second, Cam York got Philadelphia on the board with one of the few blemishes on Ilya Sorokin’s stat line.

The Islanders’ backstop looked like his usual steady self, holding strong while the Flyers played with an extra attacker in the final minutes, finishing the night with 34 saves on 36 shots.

“I tried playing a little aggressive,” Sorokin said. “Just tried to find the puck. It’s a good team feeling.”

The Flyers will be back at UBS Arena in just three days, but the Islanders must first take care of business against the Senators in Ottawa on Friday.