UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- For one night, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders played role reversal.
The result was a stunning 6-1 New York victory Wednesday night which featured Zigmund Palffy's fifth career hat trick.
The victory was only the second in the last 17 games for the Islanders (2-13-2). They started the night 26 points behind the Flyers, second in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
"It's a step in the right direction," Islanders coach Rick Bowness said. "The only thing that's been missing during the slump was the timely goal. Tonight, the puck went in the net for us."
Palffy set the tone 70 seconds into the game when he stood in the low slot and tipped Tom Chorske's pass past goaltender Garth Snow.
Eric Lindros tied the game for Philadelphia at 10:19 on a screened shot that beat Tommy Salo between the pads, the only goal Salo gave up in the 23 he faced.
Palffy put the Islanders up for good at 15:57 during a power play on a slap shot from the left side.
"The biggest reason we won tonight was that we came out hard and skated for the full 60 minutes," Palffy said. "We also played great defense."
New York increased its lead to 4-1 in the second period when Palffy set up Kenny Jonsson for a backhander between Snow's legs at 7:10, and then finished his hat trick at 15:12 on the power play on Snow's clearing miscue.
"Ziggy had more jump," Bowness said. "He's got to skate. He's not going to win the physical battles."
The battles got more intense in the third period, as 92 of the game's 108 penalty minutes were called. The Islanders added to their lead on goals by Chorske at 14:22 and Travis Green on a power play at 18:07. Both were scored against Ron Hextall, who relieved Snow to start the period.
After the game, Philadelphis held a 35-minute closed-door meeting. When the doors opened, Lindros refused to talk about what was said, but did say that the Flyers can't squander points away.
"It was ugly from the start tonight," Lindros said. "We had a chance to put a couple of points in the bank, and we didn't. We need every point we can muster to get home ice. Home-ice advantage is very important in the playoffs."
Brant Myhres, who took 19 of the 108 penalty minutes, elaborated a bit more on what was said.
"We need a total 20-man commitment to win," Myhres said. "It started with me taking a couple of bad penalties."