The front end of the series went to the Islanders, who defended home ice with a 4-3 win in overtime thanks to a Josh Bailey goal just 32 seconds into the extra session.
Despite his team being out-chanced by the Islanders, Brian Elliott was the great equalizer in net for the Flyers and earned his team a point with some miraculous saves among the 35 he came up with in the losing effort. Looking to end what has been an ugly losing skid, the Flyers will need to again get stellar goaltending if they’re to get back into the win column for the first time since beating Chicago back on Nov. 9.
As for the Islanders, they’ve now won four of their past five games and are riding the hot hand of Bailey, who leads the team in scoring (26 points) on the year and has eight points in his last five games. Not lost in the terrific effort from Brian Elliott in the Flyers net was Thomas Greiss’ effort for the Isles in also stopping 35 shots on his way to his seventh win in 11 games.
Dave Hakstol’s club will look to do a better job on the penalty kill this time around as a pair of Islanders power play goals ended up proving to be the difference in the loss on Wednesday night. The Isles scored on their first two man-advantage chances but did come up empty on their last three opportunities, something positive to take away for the Flyers.
Another positive was the Flyers’ shot selection, which saw less point shots compared to previous losses in the last week or so. Getting into the tough areas to score is something that comes and goes with this group but based off their shot chart from Wednesday, there was a concerted effort to get to the high scoring areas of the ice.
The NHL debut of Danick Martel was a good one as the AHL’s leading goal scorer created a nice chance on a partial breakaway early and could give the Flyers’ offense a much-needed jolt of energy. As for the 2017 debut of Sam Morin, it wasn’t the best night for the hulking defenseman. A delay of game penalty resulted in a Islanders power play goal and an interference call in the third nearly cost the Flyers a point.
To break the streak the Flyers will need more of the depth scoring they got (Michael Raffl, Taylor Leier) on Wednesday night and couple that with a better effort on the penalty kill in order to get back in the win column in the crowded Metropolitan.
Projected Flyers lines:
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Martel – Patrick – Simmonds
Raffl – Filppula – Konecny
Leier – Laughton – Weal
Provorov – Hagg
Sanheim – Manning
Morin – Gostisbehere