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Islanders 5, Flyers 4: Losing streak hits seven with overtime loss

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The Flyers are bad, folks.

Four goals weren’t enough as the Flyers’ losing streak continued with a 5-4 loss in overtime to the Islanders on Friday.

Despite a two-goal lead to start the third, the Flyers were unable to close the deal as the Islanders improved to 2-7-1 when trailing after two periods this season. Sean Couturier, Shayne Gostisbehere, Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers in the losing effort.

Brian Elliott turned aside 32 of 37 shots in a tough luck loss as the Flyers’ goalie was again left out to dry many times by his teammates in front of him.

Entering as the NHL’s 28th ranked penalty kill, the Flyers were able to kill off an early Islanders power play following a high-sticking call to Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers did build momentum with three-straight penalty kills a couple nights ago so starting this one off with another kill continued the positive momentum.

Nothing much in the way of scoring chances for the Flyers through the first half of the period as the Islanders did a good job keeping shots to the outside and keeping bodies out of the way of goaltender Thomas Greiss.

A good chance for Danick Martel in front of a Nolan Patrick setup looked promising at the 8:35 mark, but Martel couldn’t corral the puck to get off a shot on Greiss. Not to be outdone, Travis Sanheim faked out Josh Ho-Sang on the same shift, but had his shot blocked in front.

Martel then set up Patrick with a lead pass that resulted in a breakaway for his fellow rookie, but Patrick was held and awarded a penalty shot with 2:59 left in the first.

But Greiss wasn’t forced to make a save on the penalty shot as Patrick deked the goalie but save the puck roll off his stick and sailed wide of the net. Nevertheless, it was a nice hookup between a pair of young guns the Flyers will look to develop going forward.

With 14 seconds left in the period it would be the visitors who would strike first as Mathew Barzal would get credit for his sixth of the season to make it 1-0 Islanders. The puck glanced off Barzal and just snuck over the goal line and appeared to just nick Brian Elliott’s skate before crossing the line.

A good pinch by Robert Hagg forced a turnover and the puck ended up in the wheelhouse of Claude Giroux, who ripped a slap shot past Greiss to things up at 1-1. Hagg would draw the lone assists on the goal that came at the 3:49 mark of the second. The goal moved Giroux to 599 career points, and he’d add an assist later to move to 600 career points.

Wayne Simmonds would give the Flyers a 2-1 lead about three minutes later to give the Flyers goals on consecutive shots. Shayne Gostisbehere blasted a point shot off the post and Simmonds was there to clean up his seventh goal of the season and first since way back on Oct. 21 against the Oilers. Nolan Patrick, who found Ghost at the point, picked up the other assist on the go-ahead goal.

The 2-1 lead would end up being short lived for the Flyers, however.

A turnover by Scott Laughton at center ice ended up in the back of his own net after Cal Clutterbuck tipped home a Dennis Seidenberg shot to even things at 2-2. The goal came just 1:28 after Simmonds gave the Flyers the lead.

Johnny Boychuck thought he gave the Islanders a lead at the 8:46 mark, but the puck beat Elliott as the Isles were on a delayed offsides and was immediately called off by the officials.

It would be the Flyers to take back the lead, however, with Gostisbehere taking advantage of a delayed call against the Isles to make it 3-2. Sean Couturier was hooked on the rush, but fended off the defense and dropped the puck to Gostisbehere for the goal.

Just 19 seconds later it would be Couturier’s turn to finish, taking a perfect pass from Jake Voracek behind the goal to push the Flyers’ lead to 4-2 with 7:30 left in the second.

The Flyers’ top line figured heavily into both goals as five of the possible six points on the two goals went to Giroux, Couturier and Voracek as the trio tried their best to will this team to a win.

Jordan Eberle would close the gap to 4-3 at the 4:12 mark on the power play for the Isles just after Travis Konecny missed on a breakaway at the other end. The goal came on a questionable call to Jake Voracek for hooking while Konecny was taken down without a call.

Needless to say the officiating did not favor the Flyers after the penalty shot was awarded to Nolan Patrick early on in the game.

A high-sticking call to Mathew Barzal helped the Flyers establish some momentum after Eberle’s goal, but it was Brian Elliott with a huge pad save on John Tavares at the other end the preserve the lead.

But with 7:49 left Elliott was unable to hold the lead once more as Mathew Barzal found Andrew Ladd out front to tie things up at 4-4. Nolan Patrick lost Barzal and then Ladd was left alone to ram home the pass leaving Elliott little chance.

Nothing would go for either team in the final five minutes of regulation, setting up free hockey for the folks who came out on Black Friday.

With 2:16 left in the overtime session, it was Nick Leddy all alone in front to seal the 5-4 win and send the Flyers to a seventh-straight loss.

We’re back at it Monday. Enjoy your weekend, Flyers fans.