The New York Islanders weren’t able to finish off the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday, losing 4-3 in overtime.
The Islanders got out to a slow start, getting outshot 11-4 in the first period and forcing Semyon Varlamov to come up with some big saves. However, despite being out-chanced, they survived the period without giving up a goal.
New York managed to get on the board early in the second period, when Josh Bailey was able to bank the puck in off of Mathew Barzal, who was one of a few players in a mess in front of the net. Despite a better period from New York though, the Flyers tied the game on a point shot that got tipped in by Claude Giroux, then took the lead when Adam Pelech got caught pinching and James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal of the playoffs on a 2-on-1.
In the third period, Philadelphia extended their lead when Matt Niskanen blasted a shot by Varlamov, after a turnover from Derick Brassard. However, from that point on, New York controlled the rest of the game. With just over four minutes to go, Brock Nelson scored on a long-range shot that seemed to catch Carter Hart off guard. Then under two minutes later, Cal Clutterbuck managed to get a great pass through the crease to Derick Brassard, who was able to shovel it in to tie the game.
In overtime, the teams traded some chances and it looked like surely Devon Toews was going to end it on a great opportunity early on, but Hart made a huge save. Then Brock Nelson had a breakaway chance but he was denied by Hart as well. Hart’s big saves kept the Flyers alive and Scott Laughton managed to tip in a shot from the point later on to secure a win for the Flyers and extend the series.
Mathew Barzal didn't finish the game, after taking a stick to the face. We don't know his status for Game 6, though reports do seem to point in the direction of the injury not being too serious. Sean Couturier also left the game early for the Flyers, after making a hit in the second period.
We’ve seen what New York can do when they play a full 60 minutes and if they can get back to putting together a full game, I have no concerns. However, if they don’t really show up until the third period (and overtime, I suppose), like was the case in Game 5, I’m certainly less optimistic.
This is New York’s series to lose.
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