Islanders Score 2 in 3rd, Put Flyers on Brink
The Flyers had not lost back-to-back games since Jan. 7. It was a stat that followed the Flyers around for the entire time in the bubble. In 11 straight games following a loss, the Flyers had found a way to bounce back.
Not this time.
The Islanders scored twice in the third period, helping to put away the Flyers in the game and take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a 3-2 win on Sunday night.
Early in the period, the Flyers were the better team on the forecheck and generated some chances on Thomas Greiss. The Flyers also had a power play just under eight minutes into the period that gave them an early scoring chance, but didn't generate much else.
For the rest of the period, the Islanders were in control. At the end of the Flyers power play, shots were 6-5 in favor of the Flyers. They managed just one shot for the rest of the period while the Islanders fired 13 more on goal, including several on a power play of their own where Brian Elliott had to come up big several times.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 18-7 Islanders.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders finally broke through in the second and cashed in off another turnover. Phil Myers failed to clear the zone as the forwards exited, leaving the Islanders with numbers in transition. Josh Bailey set up Brock Nelson in the slot and he fired high over Elliott to make it 1-0 Islanders at 6:52.
For the rest of the period, the Flyers started to turn around play. They generated more chances and had the final 12 shots of the period. One of those shots found the net. With 4:41 left in the period, a point shot by Justin Braun was deflected in by Sean Couturier to tie the game.
The Flyers had a couple of great scoring chances in the closing seconds of the period, but Greiss held down the fort and kept the game tied. Through two periods, shots were 24-21 Flyers.
Early in the third, the Flyers kept the pressure on and generated more scoring chances, but the Islanders started to push back and eventually took advantage of a breakdown by the defensemen to take the lead back.
Scott Mayfield hit Jean-Gabriel Pageau with a pass after he worked around a pinching Matt Niskanen who was taken out of the play. Ivan Provorov had cut across to play Mayfield, allowing Pageau to go in alone on a breakaway. Pageau's shot was partially stopped by Elliott, but leaked through the five-hole and went in to give the Islanders the lead at 7:18.
Just under four minutes later, the Flyers got caught in another transition with Niskanen caught. Bailey and Nelson executed a give-and-go to make it 3-1 with 8:48 left in the third.
Late in the third, the Flyers cut the lead to one with another point shot finding net. Provorov had his shot tip off an Islander and go in to make it 3-2, but that was as close as they would get. The Islanders locked down the defensive zone and didn't let the Flyers have a shot, taking a 3-1 series lead.
Elliott made 30 saves in the loss. Greiss made 36 saves in the win.
Game 5 is on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
- No Scoring
- NYI Brock Nelson (4) (Josh Bailey) 6:52
- PHI Sean Couturier (2) (Justin Braun, Robert Hagg) 15:19
- NYI Jean-Gabriel Pageau (7) (Scott Mayfield, Devon Toews) 7:18
- NYI Nelson (5) (Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier) 11:12
- PHI Ivan Provorov (2) (Kevin Hayes, Travis Sanheim) 18:55
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.