The New York Islanders (35-23-10) will look to stop the comeback of the Philadelphia Flyers (41-21-7) in game seven of this round two series. The series is tied 3-3. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Flyers were second in the Metropolitan Division with 89 points. So far in the bubble, they’ve won ten of the fifteen games that they’ve played. The Islanders were fifth in the Metropolitan Division and had just 80 points in the regular season. They’ve also won ten of their fifteen games played. The last time these teams faced off was on Thursday night, where the game went into double overtime. The Flyers would ultimately win with a final score of 5-4.
Islanders In Do-Or-Die Situation After Blowing LeadThe Islanders have joined nearly half of the teams remaining in the playoffs in a not so favorable category. Out of the four-round two series, there has only been one that hasn’t needed seven games to decide the winner. And, in all three that have needed the entire seven-game series to work things out, it’s gone from a team having a 3-1 lead to a tied series. The Islanders are no exception. After an impressive series where they beat the top team in the league, the Capitals, they seemed to carry that energy into round two. They won three of the first four games of the series, but have now dropped two in a row. Both of the losses have been close, one-goal games. Both have also needed overtime to decide a winner.
Their most recent game actually needed double overtime. However, despite their colossal 53 shots on goal, they were unable to put the Flyers away even after an extra 35 minutes of play. The Isles would get their first goal of the game in the closing minutes of the first. Answering two early Flyers goals was Derick Brassard, cutting the Flyers’ lead in half. The other three goals that New York had were in the second period. Matt Martin would tie things up, and then under two minutes later, Anders Lee gave his team their first lead of the game. Lee’s goal was the only powerplay goal scored during the contest. The Islanders’ final goal of the game was in the last 30 seconds of the period. Mathew Barzal found the back of the net for the fifth time in the bubble to give his team another lead and giving himself both a goal and an assist that night. New York’s goaltender was Semyon Varlamov. It was his fourteenth start of the postseason, and he allowed 5 goals on 31 shots for a .839 save percentage.
Double OT Goal Gives Flyers The Chance To AdvanceThe Flyers had a pretty big morale boost going into game six. Oskar Lindblom played in his first game since early December of 2019. It was then that the young winger was diagnosed with bone cancer, and started to undergo treatment. That treatment ended in July, and he’s not able to rejoin the team. Even with his season-ending much earlier than anyone else, Lindblom had 11 goals and 7 assists during the regular season and logged 72 shots on goal. He didn’t make it onto the scoresheet on Thursday, though he did have an impressive 17 minutes and 30 seconds on the ice in his first game back. The Flyers have credited Lindbom with inspiring them all season, and game six was no different. Having him back on the ice isn’t just a mental boost, though. His performance in the regular season speaks for itself and is even more notable when considering he only played 30 games. Being thrown into such a critical time in the playoffs is certainly a challenge, but based on how he looked in game six, he’ll have no trouble acclimating.
Thursday was one of the best offensive games that the Flyers have played all postseason. It was certainly their highest-scoring game. They had a respectable shot total too, but their 31 shots seem a little small when held next to the Isles total shots. The team’s first two goals were scored within two minutes of each other. First, Kevin Hayes got the first goal of the game, and then James van Riemsdyk would put his team up by two. They took their lead into the locker room after the first frame, though it would be the last time they held the lead for the rest of regulation. After letting the Islanders score three unanswered goals, Michael Raffl managed to tie things up, even if the Flyers would end the second period down a goal. The lone goal of the third period belonged to Scott Laughton. There would be less than five minutes to go in the second round of overtime for the teams when Ivan Provorov got his second point of the night to force game 7. He notched a secondary assist earlier in the game. In net was Carter Hart. He stopped 49 of the 53 pucks thrown at him for a save percentage of .925.
- The Flyers are 17-6-3 overall when outshot by their opponent.
- The Flyers are 5-0-0 when the game is tied after the second period on the road.
- The Islanders are 6-10-2 when their opponent scores first on the road.
- The Islanders are 5-7 overall in one-goal games.