The New York Islanders have advanced to the Conference Final for the first time in 27 years, after beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 in Game 7 yesterday.
The Islanders opened the scoring about halfway through the first period, when Scott Mayfield managed to pick a corner with a shot from the faceoff dot. Then a few minutes later, Derick Brassard made a great play to keep the puck and buy time, before finding Andy Greene who was heading towards the net on the other side of the zone, and Greene was able to beat a diving Carter Hart.
In the second period, the Islanders continued to control the play, outshooting Philadelphia 9-3. They extended their lead when Josh Bailey found Brock Nelson with a great pass on a 2-on-1 and Nelson was able to bury it past Hart.
The Islanders continued to get chances in the third period, but Hart made some big saves to keep the game close. However, New York sealed the win with an empty net goal from Anthony Beauvillier with just over six minutes to go.
Thomas Greiss got the start for the Islanders and while he didn’t face much action, he picked up the shutout. He did get lucky a couple times with shots that hit the post, as well as a save by Adam Pelech but at the end of the day, a shutout in Game 7 is a shutout in Game 7.
The Islanders deserved the win and deserve to be moving on to the next round. They stuck to their game and gave the Flyers very, very few good chances, while sustaining quite a bit of pressure of their own in the offensive zone. It was a really strong team effort and it’s great to see the team clicking in the way that they are.
So next up, the Islanders face the Tampa Bay Lightning. While I already regard this playoff run as a success, this is going to be a really interesting series. It’ll be a difficult test but if New York can stick to their game, this could be a quality matchup.
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