Everything was going okay, and then in a flash everything was wrong again.
After a scoreless first period with shots 10-10, the New York Islanders gave up three goals in the first 3:48 of the second period, the third coming while attempting just their second penalty kill of the game. There is more to the story, but that's really all you need to know.
Faced with chasing the game yet again, the Isles did pull within a goal by early in the third period -- via the likeliest (John Tavares) and unlikeliest (Eric Boulton) of sources. But that was as close as it got. The Flyers got the next insurance goal (against Anders Nilsson, on in relief of Kevin Poulin) and added an empty netter to seal the 5-2 final.
They've now gone 0-for on consecutive road trips, adding this 0-3 to the 0-4 of a couple of weeks ago. Even when they manage promising overall play, their same weaknesses are exposed in loss after loss. They are last in the Metropolitan Division and deserve to be there.
Boulton and Brock Nelson (playing center for the first time in the NHL, winning five of 12 faceoffs lined up with Michael Grabner and Cal Clutterbuck) were in for scratches Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin, but oddly enough it didn't make the defense, penalty killing, mental lapses nor goaltending any better. But the more looks for Nelson -- part of the future -- the better.
Adding injury to misery, one of their best remaining defensemen, Thomas Hickey, left the game early with an unspecified lower bo injury.
"I don't know. I don't know," Frans Nielsen said, asked what the solution is to this run of lousy play. "If we knew, we'd do it. We have to stand together and figure this out fast. We know we're still a good team. I don't know what to say."
It must be November in Islanders country.