The Philadelphia Flyers force a Game6 Thursday after a 4-3 win in overtime.
The Flyers came out like their playoffs life depended on it. Firing the first 5-shots on goal & outshooting the Islanders 11-4 in the 1st period. But, a late tripping penalty by Derek Grant would flip the momentum.
With 1:25 of power-play time carrying over into the 2nd period, the Islanders would get the first goal. Josh Bailey would bank one off a scrum infront of the net for the goal. A play that Alain Vigneault challenged for goalie interference.
It was 50-50 challenge by Vigneault. Tyler Pitlick took Mathew Barzal into the net & Carter Hart got out of position. While Barzal never touched Hart, he did not make an effort to get out of the crease. The call on the ice was confirmed and the Islanders would go up 1-0.
Claude Giroux would tie the game. Phil Myers would fire a shot from the point that Giroux would deflect by Varlamov. It is Giroux’s first goal of the post-season. Ending a 14-game playoff goal-less streak.
James van Riemsdyk would give the Flyers the lead. Travis Konecny would beat Adam Pelech to the boards & win a puck battle that would send Scott Laughton & van Riemsdyk on a 2v1. Laughton would execute it perfectly & find van Riemsdyk for the goal. Ending a 11-game playoff goal-less streak.
Matt Niskanen would extend the Flyers lead early in the 3rd period. Kevin Hayes would cause a turnover at the Islanders blueline & keep the puck in. Travis Konecny would then fire the puck across to Niskanen. Who would fire one by Varlamov.
The Islanders would cut the lead to one with 4:14 left in the 3rd period. Brock Nelson would fire a shot from the point that would beat Hart. Nelson’s shot deflected off Joel Farabee’s stick & fooled Hart.
Just 1:34 later, the Islanders would tie the game. Cal Clutterbuck’s behind the back pass would go right to Derek Brassard’s stick. Who would tap home the puck for the tying goal.
Scott Laughton would force a Game6 in overtime. After an Islanders icing, the Flyers 1st line would go to work. Laughton, who replaced the injured Couturier, would tip home an Ivan Provorov point shot to give the Flyers the win.
Carter Hart stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced to earn the win. None bigger than Brock Nelson’s mini breakaway in overtime. His 8th of the post-season.
- Sean Couturier did not finish the game for the Flyers. Late in the 2nd period, Couturier collided with Jean-Gabriel Pageau. It was incidental contact that resulted in their knees colliding. No update was provided post-game.
- Alain Vigneault sent a direct message to his leaders pregame. A message that was answered by Claude Giroux & James van Riemsdyk. Who both ended long playoff goal-less streaks. Giroux 14-games & van Riemsdyk 11-games.
- Scott Laughton answered Vigneault’s in-game call. With Sean Couturier hurt, Laughton was put on the top line in his place. Which, in overtime, Laughton scored the game winning goal.
- Alain Vigneault made a very puzzling decision with 2:56 left in the 3rd period. Instead of keeping Claude Giroux on the ice, who had only been on the ice for 25 seconds, Vigneault chose to switch Giroux for Nate Thompson. Thompson would lose the faceoff & a board battle that resulted in the Islanders tying goal. A decision that almost costed the Flyers their playoff hopes.
- The Flyers are still alive & forced a Game6 with the win tonight. A win that was their most complete performance of the series until the last 5-mins of play. Momentum has swung a little in their favor. But, they need the same effort in Game6 to move on to a Game7.
Result : Flyers 4 , Islanders 3 – WIN
Series : Islanders lead 3-2
Next Game : 9/3 Game6 New York Islanders TBD
Photo by Mark Blinch via Getty Images