Islanders 5, Flyers 4: Furious Flyer rally falls short

Updated: April 3, 2018 at 10:27 pm by Zac DeMedio

Islanders 5 (33-37-10, 76 PTS) vs Flyers 4 (40-25-14, 94 PTS)

After a disappointing 40 minutes, Philadelphia mounted a three-goal comeback before ultimately being dispatched by the New York Islanders, 5-4.

Nolan Patrick stood out with his first career three-point game, adding two goals to his season tally. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds also scored for the Flyers.

1ST PERIOD

The Flyers started the game strong; with continuous possession in the New York zone, but they were unable to capitalize on that start. Soon after that the Islanders opened the scoring on a power play goal from their captain, John Tavares. Tavares received a pass from Matt Barzal and found himself all alone in front of Petr Mrazek and Tavares made no mistake with his shot. It was his 35th goal of the season, and his 12th on the man advantage. With Sean Couturier in the penalty box, the Flyers penalty kill looked extremely disjointed.

With under a minute to go before the 1st intermission, Philadelphia tied things up courtesy of a Wayne Simmonds goal. Shayne Gostisbehere started the rush with speed before finding Oskar Lindblom, who entered the zone and handed off to his linemate Nolan Patrick. Patrick sped into the slot before sliding a pass into Simmonds’ path and he made no mistake for goal number 24.

2ND PERIOD

The 2nd period started the same way the 1st one did, with the Islanders taking the lead once again. Philadelphia killed off a Jake Voracek high sticking minor, but were unable to get the puck out of their zone and Anthony Beauvillier made them pay. After Mrazek made some key stops, Beauviller found time and space in the slot and beat Mrazek top shelf for his 20th of the season. Beauvillier is on a bit of a hot streak, as he has scored in 4 straight games with his tally tonight.

John Tavares got his 2nd of the night as he beat Mrazek following up his own rebound. New York totally controlled the first half of the 2nd period, and that ended up showing on the scoreboard as well. A neutral zone turnover allowed Josh Bailey to find Tavares as he crashed the net and loose coverage let the Islander captain scoop his rebound over the shoulder of Mrazek to extend New York’s lead.

Matt Barzal extended the Islanders lead to 3 with under 4 minutes to go in the period. Barzal and Beauvillier played some keep away from Philadelphia before Barzal took matters into his own hands and went bar down on Mrazek for his 21st of the season. New York outshot the Flyers 17 to 6 during the 2nd frame.

3RD PERIOD

Nolan Patrick scored for the 2nd consecutive game to cut the Islanders lead down to 2. Patrick replaced Wayne Simmonds on the first power play line and swatted home a loose puck into the net while falling to the ice for his 12th goal of his rookie season.

Just a few minutes later, the kid did it again. Travis Konecny drew a hooking penalty and Nolan Patrick redirected Jake Voracek’s shot past Greiss for his 2nd of the game. Patrick looked to be one of the few Flyers who was ready for this game and seeing him rewarded with two goals was special. For missing so much time with injuries and adjusting to the NHL game, Patrick looks ready to cause some havoc in the postseason.

As he has all year long, Claude Giroux put the team on his back and brought the Flyers back to tie the game tonight. Giroux recorded his 30th goal of the season, and tied the game at 4 a piece with under 6 minutes to play. A true captains goal, as he roofed the puck over Greiss’ shoulder.

But just :28 later, Matt Barzal continued his stellar game and rookie campaign as he put the Islanders back on top with his 2nd of the game. Shayne Gostisbehere got caught on a 2-on-1 and was unable to stop the pass from Beauvillier, allowing Barzal to skate in on Mrazek all alone. The Flyers had chances towards the end of the game with an empty net but were unable to beat Greiss before time expired.

QUICK HITTERS

For the first time in his career, Claude Giroux has a 30 goal season. He reached the 30 goal plateau tonight as his career year gets better and better. For someone who was written off by a bunch of people the past two season, this bounce back year has been so entertaining to watch as he’s head and shoulder’s the Flyers MVP and should get consideration for NHL MVP as well.

With the loss tonight, Philadelphia’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth still remains at 3. Currently they sit in the 2nd WC spot, as New Jersey jumped them with a victory over the New York Rangers tonight.

The lack of effort in the first 40-45 minutes tonight was extremely concerning. It was an overall lackluster game from essentially everyone not named Nolan Patrick or Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom had a decent game as well. There was no urgency from a team who would have potentially locked up a playoff spot tonight until they found themselves down three. Just a disappointing effort from the Flyers tonight.

NEXT GAME

Flyers vs Hurricanes, 4/5 @ 7:00 P.M.

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