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  • Isaac Brendel

Islanders Edge: Sorokin stellar, Beauvillier scores twice in Isles shootout win over Flyers

photo credit: Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

When Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said that his number one goalie Carter Hart needed to be better, he meant it. Not playing a game since March 25th, the twenty-two-year-old netminder had a chance to reflect on his game and start living up to the hype that surrounded him when breaking into the league in the 2018-19 season.

With a chip on his shoulder, and certainly something to prove to his head coach and organization, Hart looked to have a huge bounce-back game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night, taking on the New York Islanders, the team that humiliated the Washington Capitals just two days prior.

Barry Trotz and his boys in blue and orange knew the type of effort that was coming from the recently struggling Flyers, and they knew exactly what they needed to do.

New York was outshot 10-3 in the first period, but the score certainly wasn’t indicative of that. 12:01 into the first frame, on the power-play, Matt Martin sent a beautiful pass to Anthony Beauvillier, who put the puck past Hart. Jordan Eberle was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.

Towards the end of the first, both Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas were in the penalty box. The Flyers had a five-on-three chance to even the score, but thanks to Jean-Gabriel Pageau keeping the puck away from them, they didn’t. The Isles showed their fans how great their penalty-kill can be when they are rolling.

The Flyers once again won the shot count in the second (11-7). But yet again, it was the Islanders who scored the lone goal of the period. Beauvillier picked up his second goal of the game and eight of the year on a pass from the red hot Mathew Barzal, who now has six points in his last two games.

The third period was a different story. Shots on goal were even at eleven, but just 6:38 in, Flyers captain Claude Giroux snuck one past Isles goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Travis Konecny (15) and Jakub Voracek (23) picked up assists. Less than four minutes later, at 10:32 in, Giroux scored another goal, this time tying the game at two goals apiece. Voracek (24) and Konecny (16) were awarded assists.

In overtime, both sides exchanged chances, but nobody could score. To a shootout, we go!

In the first round of the shootout, Eberle was stopped by Hart. Flyers forward Sean Couturier hit the post.

In round two, Beauvillier was denied by Hart. Nolan Patrick completely missed the net for the Flyers, keeping the shootout score dead even at zero.

In the top of the third, Oliver Wahlstrom was denied by Hart’s quick glove and patience. In the bottom of the second, Giroux made a great move on Sorokin, who made a better save and put his athleticism and flexibility on full display, turning the backhand shot aside.

In the top of the fourth, Barzal scored, beating his Team Canada teammate on a gorgeous snipe. In the bottom of the fourth, Voracek was rejected by Sorokin, clinching the Isles a victory.

Hart was much better for the Flyers and made some fantastic saves in the game, overtime, and shootout. The Islanders completely messed up the third period but still found a way to win. A full sixty-minute effort is an imperative night after night, especially in the late stretch of the season when some teams are fighting for a playoff spot. A win is a win, but it certainly wasn’t how Trotz drew the third period up - especially heading into the final twenty with a 2-0 lead.

When asked if it’s nice to see his team win different types of games, Trotz said, “It says a lot about our team. {When} You have a big win over the Caps, and we scored a lot of goals, you feel good about yourself a little bit, and sometimes you feel too good, and you got a really desperate team in the Flyers who played extremely well, and those games can usually, not catch you by surprise, but those are hard games to win because you’re feeling really good about yourself, but you’re also probably not as desperate as the other team because you’re feeling too good about yourself, so I like the fact that we kept it pretty grounded and we knew that we were going to be in a fight tonight.”

Ross Johnston fought in the first period, was beaten pretty badly, and did not return to the game. Trotz said he had no update on him but will know more on Monday. Wahlstrom went down and left briefly but was alright and came right back into the game. Ilya Sorokin has yet to lose at home and carries a 6-0-0 record on home ice.

The Islanders will take on the first-place Washington Capitals at the Coliseum on Tuesday, with puck drop set for 7:00 PM Eastern Time.


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