photo credit Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images
Going into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders knew that they had to support their young Russian goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Heading into this game, the Isles hadn’t scored a single goal with him in the blue paint. The first period at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday was no different. Though the Isles outshot the Flyers 13-6 in the first twenty minutes of play, it was the “Broad Street Bullies” who went to their dressing room with the lead after the horn sounded. Joel Farabee notched his third goal of the year 18:42 into the first period. James van Riemsdyk was credited with his fifth assist of the year. The Isles were not going to accept this, and just 38 seconds into the second period on the power-play, Nick Leddy scored his first goal of the season. Josh Bailey and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were credited with the assists. Joel Farabee responded at 2:19, scoring his fourth of the season and second of the game, van Riemsdyk picked up another assist. Young defenseman Travis Sanheim was credited with the secondary assist. The Flyers were overall the better team in the second frame, and that showed. 15:52 in Joel Farabee clinched a hat trick, tipping in a shot from Philippe Myers. Van Riemsdyk got on the score sheet yet again, recording his third assist of the night. The Isles continued with the quick responses, though. 1:03 into the third and final regulation period, Josh Bailey deflected Ryan Pulock’s shot behind Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott. The red hot Mathew Barzal picked up his sixth assist on the year. At 6:27, Mathew Barzal continued his hot stretch, burying a beautiful pass from Anders Lee. The Isles outshot the Flyers 10-7 in the third period and 36-29 in the game. To overtime we go!
Both teams exchanged chances at the start of the extra period of play. Mathew Barzal took a careless high-sticking penalty on Scott Laughton 3:40 into the extra session. Scott Mayfield had a magnificent scoring chance, but with just 38 seconds remaining, Kevin Hayes put one past Sorokin on a behind the back feed from Flyers captain Claude Giroux to seal the deal and hand his team the two points. Ivan Provorov was credited with the secondary assist on Hayes’ fifth goal of the season.
For the second straight night, the Islanders fall to the Flyers in overtime. Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it hurts. And yes, this isn’t the outcome the Isles wanted. But there can be a few positive takeaways from this game - Ilya Sorokin made a couple of acrobatic saves, and overall looks more comfortable in his crease. In his Isles debut, Austin Czarnik played a solid 200-foot game, breaking up a potential goal in the first period. Mathew Barzal looks like a different player and an overall beast. As a team, the Isles were somewhat sloppy tonight, and this needs to get cleaned up as soon as possible. They need to get on the same page and stop the slide before it gets out of hand and potentially costs them a playoff spot.
The Isles take on the struggling Sabres on Tuesday at Nassau Live Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.