Full house, divisional opponent, up 3-1 after one period. You cannot lose that game. But that's what happened to the Islanders against the Flyers on Saturday.
Yes, the Isles are without three starting defensemen, and a likely result is some inconsistent play. Nothing against Freddy Meyer, Aaron Johnson and Andy Sutton, but any team that loses half of its regular blueliners is going to struggle.
Besides the fact that the loss came to the Flyers (who are to the Islanders what the Islanders are to the Devils, with three wins in three games), the loss was more frustrating because the Isles looked amazing in the first period after falling behind, 1-0.
The three goals were textbook. Berard's touchdown pass to Richard Park was perfect. Satan and Vasicek executed the 2-on-1 with precision. Then Guerin absolutely roofed a rebound of a Gervais shot on the power play, giving Biron no shot at a save.
But it was all downhill from there, and now the Isles will look to get one back against the Hurricanes in a rare afternoon game. Expect another big crowd and plenty of kids -- I'll be there with my son (looking forward to the free stick) in Section 325.
And stick around for the Lighthouse Cup at 5 p.m., the Suffolk high school all-stars taking on the best from Nassau County. Hockey all day -- what could be better?