The Philadelphia Flyers narrowed the deficit to 3-2 in their NHL Eastern Conference semifinals best-of-seven series on Tuesday with a 4-3 victory in overtime over the New York Islanders. On Thursday, the Flyers look to even the series 3-3 and force a deciding Game 7. The Flyers gave up a third period lead of two goals but bounced back in OT to win.
The Islanders must now regroup and find a way to eliminate the pesky Flyers with a victory in Game 6. New York fought back hard in the final 20 minutes of regulation to even the score and send it to overtime, but a redirected shot beat goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the Islanders went down to defeat.
Flyers must keep pressure in front of Islanders netThe Philadelphia Flyers have scored just 11 goals in 5 games of this series with eight of the goals in their two victories. Philadelphia must continue to keep presence and pressure in front of Varlamov to give their shooters such as Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes and Scott Laughton better chances to beat the Islanders goaltender. Right-winger Voracek continues to lead the Flyers in goals scored during the postseason with four and center Kevin Hayes has a team-high eight assists to go along with three goals.
The Flyers put goaltender Carter Hart back in the crease for Game 5 and the 22-year-old came up big again by pushing aside 29 of the 32 shots he faced on goal. Hart has a 2.12 goals against average and a .929 save percentage in 12 appearances between the pipes during the postseason for Philadelphia. Against the Islanders in five games, the Flyers have allowed 16 goals for an average of 3.2 per game, while scoring an average of just 2.2.
Islanders must close ranks around VarlamovThe New York Islanders fell behind 2-0 and 3-1 in their Game 5 loss to the Flyers on Tuesday. The Islanders were able to rally and send the game into overtime but once again pressure in front of the New York goal allowed a shot to be redirected past Semyon Varlamov. During the postseason, Varlamov is 9-3 with a goals against of 1.85 and save percentage of .929, with a pair of shutouts. However, in Tuesday's loss 4 of 32 shots on goal got past the Russian.
The Islanders are scoring more in this postseason than they did during the regular season and especially in this series against the Flyers. During the regular season, the Islanders averaged 2.78 goals-per-game but through five games of the series with Philadelphia New York is scoring an average of 3.20 goals-per-game and allowing just 2.2 goals per game which is below their regular-season average of goals against of 2.79. Anthony Beauvillier with seven goals leads the Islanders during the postseason while Josh Bailey leads in both assists and points with 12 and 15 respectively.
- New York has lost 5 of the last 7 when playing game 4 of a 4-in-6 situation
- Philadelphia is 9-3 in the last 12 versus a team from the Metropolitan division
- The Flyers have won 19 of the last 27