Flyers Flat to Start, Islanders Roll to Game 1 Win
After the Flyers escaped the series against the Montreal Canadiens with a Game 6 win, they spent the next few days talking about how there was another level for this team to reach. Chuck Fletcher went on to say that they might need to reach it to win this series.
After Game 1 of their series against the New York Islanders, that is an accurate statement, and the Flyers certainly didn't reach that level in Game 1. The Flyers were handily defeated by the Islanders in Game 1, falling 4-0.
The Islanders came out with a lot of pressure early and the Flyers struggled to get clean breakouts and gain clean entries into the offensive zone. As the Islanders pressed, creating turnovers, they took advantage just over six minutes in.
Off a failed clear by Scott Laughton, Andy Greene gained possession and, after a quick exchange with Brock Nelson, fired a shot through traffic that beat Carter Hart to make it 1-0 Islanders at 6:06.
The Flyers settled the play briefly, getting a few shifts of extended possession time, but were limited to just four shots in the opening period. The Islanders eventually regained all the momentum and peppered Hart with shots. Anthony Beauvillier hit the post with a chance, and Nelson was robbed at the side of the net with a glove save by Hart.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 15-4 Islanders.
The Flyers certainly came out firing to start the second period. They took the first eight shots of the period and narrowed the gap in the shot total throughout the period, finishing the period with a 15-7 advantage.
Semyon Varlamov was up to the task on all of them though, keeping the Islanders in front by a goal as the game turned to the third period.
The third period is where things really fell apart for the Flyers. Just under two minutes into the third, the Flyers lost a battle along the boards and left Jean-Gabriel Pageau alone in front. Pageau finished on the opportunity to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead at 2:54.
Six minutes later, the Islanders broke out of the defensive zone on a three-on-two. Jordan Eberle got the puck to Mathew Barzal, who drew the defenseman and centered for Anders Lee, who finished off the rush with his fourth goal of the playoffs to make it 3-0.
With just under eight minutes left in the third, Alain Vigneault elected to pull the goalie and the Islanders immediately cashed in with Devon Toews hitting the empty net to make it 4-0.
Varlamov finished the game with 29 saves to secure the shutout. Hart stopped 25 of 28 shots he faced.
The Flyers will get back on the ice on Wednesday afternoon for Game 2 against the Islanders at 3 p.m.
- NYI Andy Greene (1) (Brock Nelson) 6:06
- No Scoring
- NYI Jean-Gabriel Pageau (5) (Leo Komarov, Adam Pelech) 2:54
- NYI Anders Lee (4) (Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle) 8:50
- NYI Devon Toews (1) EN (Unassisted) 12:21
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.