Coming off of Scott Laughton’s overtime heroics, the Flyers looked to sweep their two-game series against the Islanders tonight. After being scratched last night, Travis Konecny would return to the lineup in place of Samuel Morin, and both teams would rotate goaltenders.
For the second time in as many nights, the Flyers and Islanders needed extra time to find a winner.
Early on the ice was tilted in the Islanders’ favor, leading a shift that saw them hem the Flyers into their own end for quite some time. Ivan Provorov capped off the shift by taking a cross-checking minor, sending the Flyers to the penalty kill.
Phil Myers, boy can he skate. A controlled exit on the penalty kill from a defenseman; you love to see it. Elliott made two big stops, and the Flyers’ kill was good enough to keep the Islanders off the board.
To steal Jim Jackson’s line, Elliott was the story to this point. The Islanders were applying great pressure but Elliott kept the game scoreless.
Elliott with a great stop on Barzal! pic.twitter.com/pck3bR8EpA— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 1, 2021
Gostisbehere might’ve been the only Flyers shooting in the first half of this period. The Flyers’ first real “dangerous” shift of the game came midway through with the Hayes line on the ice with Provorov and Gostisbehere.
Would you look at that, the Islanders can be called for penalties. That continuing would be a big blow to the Trotz System. Pelech would go for elbowing, and after Ilya Sorokin reminded us why he’s such a highly-rated goaltender, Voracek would draw another penalty, giving the Flyers a five-on-three for over a minute.
They mustered one shot on it. OK.
And now the Flyers are back to the penalty kill after Robert Hagg tried to defend Matt Barzal. Michael Raffl wound up taking a penalty to stop him; one of two outcomes, the other being a goal against, that you have to expect to occur there.
The penalty kill did do a pretty good job, and Hayes even broke free for a shorthanded breakaway. Giroux set him up with a great diving effort but Hayes’ shot hit the crossbar.
However, Joel Farabee’s shot would not hit the crossbar, nor anything between his stick and the back of the net. JvR has been really good this season and he once again made his impact felt early in this one with an icing cancellation, and the exit disruption leading to the goal.
The Bee gives the Flyers the lead! pic.twitter.com/Xtg6sY496c— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 1, 2021
Elliott was stellar in this period, as the Flyers were once again outplayed in the first frame. But that hasn’t seemed to really matter this season because they just keep winning! Ride the high.
Almost immediately Nolan Patrick took a hooking penalty, and the Islanders went right to work, scoring just 38 seconds into the power play. It was a bit of a weird one — a point shot went off the post and the back of Elliott’s leg before crossing the line.
Not to use my own tweet in my recap but like, I’m at least 77% sure this was actually the strategy implemented in this game.
Well, constantly taking and drawing penalties is one way to avoid having to face your 5v5 issues.— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) February 1, 2021
First, it was Barzal going to the box for hooking Laughton. Then on the ensuing power play Elliott and Sanheim had an adventure behind the net, leading to Sanheim hooking Cal Clutterbuck to try and stop what was looking like a dangerous scoring opportunity. This canceled out the remaining seconds of the Flyers’ power play and eventually sent them to the kill once more. Soon after the penalty expired, Patrick would get called for his second minor penalty of the period, again putting the Flyers down a man.
BUT! Back to five-on-five, a rarity tonight, and it’s Joel Farabee beating Sorokin for the second time tonight. With the primary assist, James van Riemsdyk took sole possession for the team lead in points this season.
If it wasn’t already clear that Braun has lost a step, Clutterbuck beat him in a race.
The Flyers have three goals in the game, and so does Joel Farabee! It’s his first career hat trick.
Myers' point shot appears to go in off of Farabee! That's probably a hat trick! pic.twitter.com/AuiQR1QnHS— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 1, 2021
That was not only Farabee’s third goal of the game, but van Riemsdyk’s third assist of the night. It was nice to see Myers get in on the offense after taking an ugly icing earlier in the period.
Shakira blaring in the background as Matt Martin tries to rip Scott Laughton’s helmet off is a total vibe.
Big news everybody: the Flyers’ have outshot the Islanders through 40 minutes! The defense was much better in the middle frame, and the Flyers certainly deserved to enter the third with the lead.
However, that lead would be cut to one just a minute into the third period. Josh Bailey re-directs an Adam Pulock shot past Elliott.
This period was really, just, bad. I don’t know what to say.
The Flyers were bad, but the refs were also very bad. They looked away from Patrick getting drilled from behind, and Lindblom essentially being mugged in front of the benches, but continued to call ticky-tack hooking penalties. And listen, I am very much a proponent of calling the book as opposed to letting them play, but this game had gotten a bit ridiculous.
The Islanders tied the game thanks to a number of misplays from all four of Hagg, Braun, Giroux, and Voracek. Our pal Ryan summed it up quite nicely.
Robert Hagg misses the net badly, Justin Braun gets beat, no forwards are back to cover, and the Islanders tie it. pic.twitter.com/iQ7ZodQpet— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) February 1, 2021
Anytime four out of five skaters get beat and/or make a bad play, the chances of giving up a goal grows astronomically. You just cannot have a full-sale breakdown like they did.
The Flyers’ game really fell apart in the third, and after some awkward passing by both Elliott and Bunnaman, Gostisbehere gave the puck away right in front of the goal. Luckily, the Flyers did not surrender a goal.
Good lord, Ilya Sorokin made just an absolutely bonkers save on Claude Giroux late in regulation.
Voracek was hauled down with seconds remaining, and there was no call of course, capping off a horrendous night of refereeing.
After some old-fashioned chaotic overtime action, Barzal high-sticked Laughton, giving the Flyers a four-on-three power play with 1:20 remaining in overtime.
Scott Mayfield had the first grade-A chance of the Flyers’ power play — yes, Mayfield — but Elliott came up huge with the stop. And then, for second time in about 24 hours, the Flyers would beat the Islanders in overtime.
This time it was Kevin Hayes’ turn to play hero!
Kevin Hayes wins it in OT! pic.twitter.com/obNis0xp3S— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 1, 2021
It feels like we’ve said this a lot this season, but we’ll run it back again. It might not have been pretty, but they got the job done.
3. Brian Elliott
2. James van Riemsdyk
1. Joel Farabee