Islanders defenseman Alexei Zhitnik is out for the season because of a broken left ankle, leaving New York without one of its key players as it chases a playoff spot.
The Islanders' fourth straight win, a 6-1 victory at New Jersey Tuesday night, was costly with Zhitnik and forward Arron Asham (ankle sprain) both going down. Asham is expected to miss up to four weeks.
With their seventh win in nine games, including four over New Jersey, the 10th-place Islanders moved within 5 points of the final playoff spot in the East.
''We're treating today's news the same way we approached last week when we moved some veterans for prospects," Islanders coach Brad Shaw said. ''This is another opportunity for very talented young players to step up."
Zhitnik, who signed a four-year, $14 million deal in the offseason, had five goals, 24 assists, and a plus-4 rating in 59 games.
Flyers 4, Panthers 0 -- Robert Esche made 27 saves to get his first shutout of the season as visiting Philadelphia snapped a six-game road losing streak.
Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 2 -- Kyle Calder broke a tie with a third-period goal and Nikolai Khabibulin made 33 saves to lead host Chicago.
Red Wings 3, Mighty Ducks 1 -- Nicklas Lidstrom had three assists and Chris Osgood made 25 saves to help host Detroit win its fourth straight game.