UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Thomas Hickey hooked him like a fish in Long Island sound.
Vinny Lecavalier went down hard on the ice -- without a call from the official.
“After I fell down, I didn’t see, but I got back up and G (Claude Giroux) made a great play back onto my stick,” Lecavalier said, describing what became his hat-trick goal that iced a 5-2 rout of the Isles at Nassau Coliseum (see Instant Replay).
Giroux’s pass was a no-look, backhander 8:53 into the third period that gave Flyers goalie Steve Mason some measure of comfort with a 4-2 lead.
“He dove for the puck, second effort, and we love seeing that,” Giroux said of Lecavalier, who got himself back into the play after being tripped. “He’s a guy with a lot of character, and he never gives up.”
It was Lecavalier’s seventh career hatter and first since March 11, 2008, when he was in Tampa Bay.
It was also the highlight of the Flyers’ season thus far, as they finally scored more than two goals in a game and also won two games in succession.
“Overall, this was a great confidence booster for everybody,” Lecavalier said. “Getting four or five goals that feels good. Feels good to score more than two goals.
“That’s all we’ve done this year -- score two goals. To get a little more offense off us playing well defensively, it paid off tonight. We have to keep going [in] that direction.”
This was Lecavalier’s second game back from a groin/abdominal injury, and he said he felt even better on the ice than he did on Thursday night against the Rangers. He had 2:29 in power play time, same as Giroux.
“I felt really good the last game and felt I lost the puck a few times and that was from not playing for two weeks,” Lecavalier said. “But I felt strong, no injury, and felt even better tonight.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube has been preaching about focusing on the play away from the puck as a key to getting turnovers and converting those takeaways into goals. It was evident in this game.
“They played a solid game without the puck,” Berube said. “When you do that, you can still score a goal. It’s not just sitting back and playing defense.
“It’s playing good without the puck to create turnovers. You still play in the offensive zone. We got rewarded for it tonight. We shot the puck. We were at the net.”
The Flyers fired 31 shots on goalie Kevin Poulin. They also missed 20 shots and had 13 more blocked.
“We still miss the net a little too much,” Berube said.
Yeah, they’re still the gang that can't shoot straight.
Claude Giroux was 12-for-18 (67 percent) on faceoffs. ... The Flyers had one more shot (33) not reach the net than they did that reached the net (32). They had 13 shots blocked and 20 shots that missed the net. ... Scott Hartnell returned to the lineup after missing four games with a rib cage injury. He recorded three shots, four hits, a takeaway and was plus-1 in 16:18 of ice time. ... Zac Rinaldo had more penalty minutes (four) than time on ice (3:39).