Flyers 6, Islanders 4 post-game: Getting back on track

Updated: January 4, 2018 at 11:44 pm by Matt Brauckmann

The Flyers came into tonight as losers of four of their last five games. While they need to get things back on track, they also look to accumulate some very valuable points against an Islanders team who sits four points ahead of them in the standings.

The Flyers had already lost back-to-back games against the Islanders in OT earlier this season as part of their 10-game losing streak.

Tonight they looked to Brian Elliott, who would start his 15th straight game for the Flyers as they fought for a much-needed two points.

First period

For the first time in a long time, the Flyers came out of the gate and really stuck it to the opposing team. Those efforts were rewarded early on as Sean Couturier got his stick on a shot from Jake Voracek to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

That goal was Couturier’s 19th of the season.

The Flyers continued to pour it on the Islanders, but it was Travis Konecny who started to put on his own show. A few minutes after the Flyers took the lead, Konecny had some words with Shane Prince and decided to ‘woo’ the crowd and drop the gloves.

Konecny won this tilt, and one could only think Wayne Simmonds felt like a proud dad.

The Flyers didn’t let up at all and threw the body around, something they have failed to do in the past few games. That energy was shortly disrupted, as Cal Clutterbuck put one home for the Isles with under 5 minutes to go in the period.

The Flyers outchanced the Isles 11-1 in the first and outshot them 11-6. Late period goals have been deflating to the Flyers in the past, but that wouldn’t be the case tonight.

Second period

The Flyers came out in the second virtually the same way they started the game; energetic, physical, and hungry. This time they would be promptly rewarded for their efforts.

A little over a minute in, Michael Raffl tipped home a shot by Flyer defenseman Ivan Provorov, and just like that, the Flyers found themselves back on top.

The fans wouldn’t be sitting back down for long. Just 40 seconds later, Robert Hagg fired a shot toward the net and Wayne Simmonds picked up the garbage in front for his 13th goal of the season.

That was a big goal for Simmonds who now has 2 goals in his last 3 games.

Later on in the period, Andrew MacDonald got clipped up high by the stick of Tanner Fritz which resulted in 4 minutes of power play time for the Flyers. Their second unit got to work right away, and Ivan Provorov fired a shot along the ice that Greiss never saw to put the Flyers up 4-1.

That play was set up by a beautiful pass from Nolan Patrick. We’ve seen flashes of this type of play before from Patrick and if this starts to become more consistent, it could be a huge help for the Flyers offense. Patrick was definitely a noticeable force in that period.

6 minutes later, the Islanders would cut the Flyers lead down to just two as Cal Clutterbuck netted his second goal of the night from the slot.

The Flyers would have none of that, as just a minute and a half later, Travis Konecny found himself on a breakaway off of a beautiful lob pass from Sean Couturier.

That goal nixed a 9-game goalless drought for Konecny and capped off a brilliant first and second period from the young forward.

The Flyers built on their first period and played a solid second period, taking the Islanders to the cleaners by outshooting them 14-8 and outscoring them 4-1.

Third period

Just as things started to seem like they were in the bag for the Flyers, the third period came around and did not start off well. The Islanders decided to come out firing on all cylinders.

Scott Laughton took a hooking penalty just 5 minutes into the period which gave the Islanders their first power play of the night. They wasted no time as 40 seconds in, John Tavares fired one past Brian Elliott to cut the Flyers lead to two. The Flyers have one of the worst penalty kills in the league and it was on full display here.

The Flyers got a few chances including one in which Couturier was a little too unselfish.

Then, with under 5 minutes left, Ryan Pulock flew down the wing, froze Robert Hagg, and beat a confused Elliott to cut the Flyers lead to just 1 goal.

Almost immediately after that goal, Sean Couturier decided to drop the gloves with Josh Bailey. It was an odd matchup, especially in a one-goal game, but Coots took the decision in this one and hit the showers a bit early. That gave Coots his first career Gordie Howe hat trick.

Things looked bleak for the Flyers as the Islanders went to work and created some great chances in the dying moments of the third period. While this was happening, Andrew MacDonald was tripped in his own zone by Andrew Ladd, setting off a mini-brawl which included Scott Laughton dropping the gloves with Jordan Eberle. It also led to some great entertainment for ice-level reporter Chris Therien, as he got an earful of Simmonds and Clutterbuck’s delightful conversation.

The Flyers ended up with a powerplay through all of this to close out the game. Giroux would miss two empty nets before setting up Provorov for his second goal of the game and sealing a huge win for the Flyers.

The third period wasn’t pretty, but they got it done. The Flyers were outshot 17-7 in the third.

Top Performers

Ivan Provorov – What else is new? It was another stellar night for the young defenseman. Provy finished 21:50 TOI, 2 goals, an assist, and was a +2.

Sean Couturier – COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTS! A goal, an assist, and a fight. He was very noticeable all over the ice tonight and was a huge part of this win. His quest for 40 goals this season moves on.

Nolan Patrick – Although the young guy only had an assist tonight, he was a huge part of the Flyers great second period. He was a netfornt presence on Simmonds goal and made an outstanding pass to Ivan Provorov on his first goal. That’s the Nolan Patrick we were all advertised and it’s something that the Flyers and the fans would love to keep seeing.

Next Game

Brayden Schenn will make his return to Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers take on the Blues, Saturday afternoon at 1 pm.

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