Flyers 4 - Islanders 3
2nd: 2:26, Oskar Lindblom (Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny)
2nd: 10:04, Claude Giroux (Nate Prosser, Travis Konecny)
2nd: 14:01, Jake Voracek (Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton)
3rd: 7:53, Michael Dal Colle (Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey)
3rd: 13:53, Sebastian Aho (Michael Dal Colle, Nick Leddy)
3rd: 14:27, Oliver Wahlstrom (unassisted)
3rd: 17:38, Oskar Lindblom (Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim)
It wasn't a terribly exciting start to this game for the Flyers. They did find themselves hemmed into their own zone inside the first four minutes and got a little lucky when the Islanders hit the post on their shot and didn’t really make the Flyers pay for it.
The first period also saw the Flyers given a four minute power play to work with, and they did get a couple of nice chances—and also, you know, didn’t mishandle the puck at the blue line and give up a shorthanded goal—but they weren’t able to cash in on ay of their chances, so they came out of that one empty handed.
The first period, of course, wasn’t a productive one, but in some ways, coming out even felt like a win in and of itself. The second period was going to be a real test for the Flyers after what happened last night, and folks! They had themselves a very good period. The broke open the scoring with a goal in front by Oskar Lindblom, as he also broke his 21 game goal drought.
The Flyers kept that pace rolling and responded with some nice jump, getting right back to work in the offensive zone, and were almost able to break through again, but Joel Farabee’s shot hit the post. No luck on that play but they weren’t far from breaking through again. And it was, who else, but that Giroux line once again putting in good work in the offensive zone, and this time Giroux was able to deflect a shot
The Flyers rounded out their second period scoring with a nice goal from Jake Voracek on the rush, and they were able to head to the second intermission on a distinct high note.
It wasn’t going to be smooth sailing the rest of the way, though. The Flyers got the better of the chances through the first few minutes of the third period, but the Islanders were opportunistic, biding their time until they got their One Good Chance (or, more precisely, one good entry and then a somewhat far away wrist shot from Dal Colle that Carter Hart should have had but didn’t). And the Islanders were back within two.
Things were starting to get interesting from there—the Islanders picked up some steam, and while they weren’t able to cash in on any of their chances they got while cycling just past the midway point, they did draw a high-sticking penalty on Nolan Patrick to get themselves a power play to work with.
And the good news: it wasn’t a very pretty kill for the Flyers, with them spending just about the whole of it hemmed into their own zone, but they were able to keep the Islanders tied up long enough to kill the penalty.
The bad news: the Islanders scored not even a minute after the penalty expired with a shot from Sebastian Aho on the rush. Sigh.
If this felt like the makings of a spiral, well, that would be correct. The Flyers looked flat after that second goal and pretty quickly gave up another, after an offensive zone faceoff for the Islanders saw a bit of puck movement, a complete defensive collapse but the Flyers, Islanders wide open, and a shot by Oliver Wahlstrom being banked in off of Hart, and we had a tied game.
Things were looking pretty bleak for the Flyers as they looked just increasingly rattled after things started to break down for them. But just as we were starting to get really worried, the Flyers got a break and who else but Lindblom was there to put a quick shot on goal to beat a screened Varlamov and pull the Flyers back into the lead.
This sure was... interesting. The Flyers overall played a pretty solid game, but then had a couple of terrible breakdowns that led to goals against. We’re happy about a win, to be clear, and the Flyers did do a lot of good work to bounce back from last night’s miserable loss.
There’s still some work to be done here, though. Hart still isn’t playing up to his potential—he looked better than he did a week or so ago, but he’s still making himself small in his net and getting burned for it. The Flyers are also still falling victim to the frazzle and deflation that comes after one bad thing happens. Those issues didn’t magically go away, and while we can pencil this game in as a step in the right direction, it’s fair to acknowledge that there’s more that needs to be done. Put that in the back pocket, and let’s hope we move closer to a complete effort on Saturday.
Player of the game
There were a handful of really solid performances in tonight’s game, but we’re going to have to give this one to Oskar Lindblom. After having the night off on Wednesday, he came out with some serious jump for this one, was really strong on the forecheck, and the scoring touch he brought was a nice bonus. He was very effective, and it finally felt like he was getting back to his game, which was pretty stellar.