Islanders Edge: Isles Strong 2nd and 3rd periods not enough, losing streak grows to 4
photo credit: Derik Hamilton
In a shortened season, any time you fall short of two points hurts a lot. This can be especially frustrating when you outplay your opponent. On Saturday night in Philadelphia, nothing seemed to go right for the New York Islanders in the first period. Just 3:38 into the first frame, Jakub Voracek tipped one past Semyon Varlamov on a beautiful passing play by the Philadelphia Flyers. Claude Giroux and Scott Laughton were credited with assists on Voracek’s second of the year. 13:55 into the first, Kevin Hayes scored his fourth of the year, assisted by James van Riemsdyk and Ivan Provorov. The Islanders seemed to come to life towards the end of the first and pushed the pace of play from there on out. 7:31 into the second period Jordan Eberle scored his third goal of the season on an excellent play read and pass from Adam Pelech. Brock Nelson was credited with his first assist of the season as well. Scott Mayfield tied the game at 11:46. Nick Leddy picked up an assist, and the red hot Mathew Barzal recorded a helper as well, his fifth of the season. The Isles continued to dominate, recording 21 shots in the final two periods of play (not including overtime), with the Flyers recording just 8. The final shot count was 28 to 17 in favor of New York. Though the Isles seemed to dominate possession of the puck in overtime, 3:16 in Scott Laughton weaved through the defense and waited out Varlamov, scoring his first goal of the season and earning his team 2 points. Shayne Gostisbehere was credited with the sole assist on Laughton’s overtime winner.
The sad reality is that the Islanders deserved to win this hockey game. They have to stop the bleeding and pick up two points on Sunday against this same Flyers team. The good news is that there is still a lot of hockey left to be played, and the Isles youth continues to shine, especially Noah Dobson and Kieffer Bellows. Oliver Wahlstrom has also been impressive, being in the right place at the right time, winning battles, and creating scoring chances. The Isles have proven how dangerous they are when they find a spark. They have found that spark in the past and will find that spark in the future. If anyone can get his team going, it’s Barry Trotz. In less than 24 hours, the Isles have another game to play against the same exact team, in the same exact city, in the same exact building, on the same exact sheet of ice. This game needs to be erased from their memories immediately.
The Isles take on the Flyers again tonight at 7:00 PM Eastern Time at the Wells Fargo Center in “The City of Brotherly Love”.