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Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (SO): Can’t do that

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A brutal finish to a game that was looking up for 40 minutes.

New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Flyers lost.

Look, we’re not going to pretend that the Flyers played their cleanest game ever, or that the 3-0 lead they held after two periods was thanks to a thoroughly dominating effort, or that you can’t understand why they’d have so little gas on the tail end of a back-to-back and at the end of a really tough week schedule-wise. Things happen.

But you can’t let that many things happen. Like a bad line change that gives a guy a breakaway, or a too many men penalty that gives a team another goal, or a goalie getting just a bit too aggressive and letting a dribbler get past him.

Too many things happened. And as such, the Flyers — who held a three-goal lead with under 13 minutes left in regulation — blew a chance to hand the New York/Brooklyn/Long Island/Wherever They Feel Like It, I Guess Islanders their first zero-point game since October 11, and ultimately lost 4-3 in a shootout.

This was the capper to the biggest week of the Flyers’ season to date, and though they still, despite the loss, have had the best first-quarter-of-a-season that they’d had since 2011, this is the kind of loss — against a divisional rival that’s on fire and has had so much go right for it in the last couple of seasons — that you just can’t have.

More thoughts coming tomorrow. In the meantime ...

Flyers Three Stars

1. Sean Couturier

It’s chalk, but sometimes chalk can be used to write really obvious things that need to be said. Couturier started this one out on the right foot with a beautiful wrister over Thomas Greiss’ glove hand, tacked on an assist on Provorov’s first-period marker, and was consistently one of the Flyers’ best players yet again even after some minor line shuffling that saw Joel Farabee replace Travis Konecny on his right wing.

2. Ivan Provorov

I should probably give this to Oskar Lindblom, who also had a goal and an assist, but my goodness, what a shot by Provorov on the power play late in the first. Gave the Flyers a boost after they’d started to tail off a bit as that period went on.

3. Joel Farabee

Took his promotion to the top-line-by-default in stride, picking up an assist on Lindblom’s tally and consistently having some jump in his step. Nice bounce-back for him in this back-to-back.

Stray Notes

  • Phil Myers sat for the first time since his call-up, as did Carsen Twarynski. AV, when asked after the game, said Myers was “not injured”, but he did mention before the game that some guys were a little banged-up off of the back-to-back and would be game-time decisions. So ... who knows? Sitting Myers down based on performance would be silly, but maybe they know something we don’t.
  • Brian Elliott ... had himself a game. He was all over the place, regularly leaving his crease and taking big-time risks. Sometimes, it worked out — he made four or five outstanding saves in this game. Other times ... it did not, and the dam finally broke in the third period.

GIF Of The Night

If Brian Elliott doesn’t work out, looks like Ivan Provorov may have a future in goaltending.