Islanders Smother Flyers to Take Series Lead
For the second straight game, the Flyers came out and had a solid first period. And then the Islanders took over.
Two opportunistic goals in the second period gave the Islanders the edge and they never looked back, capitalizing on the first power play of the game in the third period as well to put the game essentially out of reach.
The result was a 3-1 decision for the Islanders that gave them the 2-1 series lead.
The Flyers came out as the better possession team early, getting some strong shifts from the third and fourth lines. Scott Laughton was back in the lineup, and his presence helped the Flyers take the lead late in the first.
Off a strong shift for the third line, Laughton maintained possession and had the puck knocked off his stick and right to Tyler Pitlick. Pitlick took a shot from the top of the left circle and beat Semyon Varlamov to make it 1-0 at 14:18.
The Islanders got a push late in the period, but the Flyers maintained the advantage in shots. Through 20 minutes, shots were 10-9 Islanders.
From the start of the second, the Islanders were in complete control, dominating the possession and shot game. It took 7:12, but the Islanders finally got on the board with a goal that leaked through Carter Hart.
Off a neutral-zone turnover, Mathew Barzal won a race for the loose puck in the corner and centered to the front of the net for an uncovered Matt Martin. Martin's shot was partially stopped by Hart, but leaked behind him and went in to tie the game.
In the closing seconds of the period, the Flyers capped off an awful period with a turnover and a goal allowed that gave the Islanders the edge. Ivan Provorov turned the puck over and Derick Brassard outworked the Flyers defense to set up Leo Komarov at the front of the net. Again, his shot leaked through Hart and barely crossed the line, making it 2-1 Islanders with 5.1 seconds remaining in the period.
Through two periods, shots were 25-15 Islanders.
Early in the third, the Flyers were whistled for the first penalty of the game and the Islanders took advantage. Jordan Eberle set up Anders Lee in front to make it 3-1 and put the game in the Islanders control.
The Flyers finished the third period with 12 shots, but many of them relatively easy for Varlamov. The Islanders killed off a late third-period power play for the Flyers and finished the game off.
Hart finished the game with 26 saves on 29 shots. Varlamov made 26 saves on 27 shots in the win.
Game 4 is right back on Sunday night at 8 p.m.
- PHI Tyler Pitlick (2) (Scott Laughton, Matt Niskanen) 14:18
- NYI Matt Martin (3) (Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle) 7:12
- NYI Leo Komarov (1) (Derick Brassard) 19:54
- NYI Anders Lee (6) PP (Eberle, Ryan Pulock) 3:41
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.