Round 2, Game 7 Preview: Flyers-Islanders
It all comes down to this. Game 7 to decide who goes to the Eastern Conference Final and who goes home.
For the Flyers, it has been quite the week to get here. Two overtime victories brought the series back from a 3-1 deficit to a 3-3 tie, forcing the decisive Game 7 on Saturday night.
For the Islanders, they are now with their backs against the wall. After two chances to close out the series, the Islanders now must win or they will go home after holding the 3-1 series lead following play on Sunday night.
If it's anything like the other games in this series, you can expect a close, hard-fought battle to the finish where only one thing is certain: this game will end with handshakes at center ice.
Game 7 is set for 7:30 p.m.
|Philadelphia Flyers||GP||G||A||P||New York Islanders||GP||G||A||P|
|Kevin Hayes||15||4||9||13||Josh Bailey||15||2||13||15|
|Scott Laughton||14||5||4||9||Mathew Barzal||15||5||8||13|
|Jake Voracek||14||4||5||9||Brock Nelson||15||6||6||12|
|Sean Couturier||14||2||7||9||Anthony Beauvillier||15||7||4||11|
|Ivan Provorov||15||3||5||8||Jordan Eberle||15||3||7||10|
|Player to Watch|
|28 Claude Giroux||13 Mathew Barzal|
|Last 5 Games: 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, +4||Last 5 Games: 2 G, 3 A, 5 P, -2|
|Projected Goalie Matchup|
|79 Carter Hart||1 Thomas Greiss|
|13 GP, 9-4-0, 2.17 GAA, .929 SV%||2 GP, 1-1-0, 1.68 GAA, .949 SV%|
Same story as in Game 5, if not for Carter Hart, the Flyers season is already over. Hart was spectacular, especially in the third period and overtime, stopping the last 25 shots that came his way and finishing the game with 49 saves on 53 shots. Hart will be in goal again, as the Flyers look for one more stellar performance from the 22-year-old netminder to help get them to the conference final.
Barry Trotz said there would be lineup changes, and this would be the most obvious change that could be made. Semyon Varlamov had allowed four goals on 17 shots to the Flyers in Game 6 and has struggled since getting the night off for Game 4. That night, Thomas Greiss essentially stole a game and gave the Islanders a 3-1 series lead. Greiss has made both of his postseason appearances in this series, coming on in relief in Game 2 and winning Game 4. He has allowed just three goals on 59 shots in that time, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the Islanders turn things over to him in the deciding Game 7.
Flyers Projected Lineup
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|28 Claude Giroux||21 Scott Laughton||93 Jake Voracek|
|25 James van Riemsdyk||13 Kevin Hayes||11 Travis Konecny|
|23 Oskar Lindblom||38 Derek Grant||18 Tyler Pitlick|
|12 Michael Raffl||44 Nate Thompson||62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel|
|9 Ivan Provorov||15 Matt Niskanen|
|6 Travis Sanheim||5 Phil Myers|
|8 Robert Hagg||61 Justin Braun|
|79 Carter Hart||37 Brian Elliott|
Islanders Projected Lineup
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|27 Anders Lee||13 Mathew Barzal||7 Jordan Eberle|
|18 Anthony Beauvillier||29 Brock Nelson||12 Josh Bailey|
|10 Derick Brassard||44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau||47 Leo Komarov|
|17 Matt Martin||53 Casey Cizikas||15 Cal Clutterbuck|
|3 Adam Pelech||6 Ryan Pulock|
|25 Devon Toews||24 Scott Mayfield|
|2 Nick Leddy||4 Andy Greene|
|1 Thomas Greiss||40 Semyon Varlamov|
- Flyers: Obviously, the same questions remain regarding the Flyers lineup. Are either Sean Couturier or Joel Farabee healthy enough to participate in this deciding Game 7? Both not only missed Game 6, but did not take warmups or the morning skate, so a lot remains to be seen as warmups get closer. There's also the question about Oskar Lindblom's usage, given that the Flyers wanted to ease him back into a game setting and he played 17:30 of a double-overtime game.
- Islanders: Trotz said there will be lineup changes, but would not elaborate. This could be nothing more than making a change in goal or it could be changes to forward or defense, like the re-insertion of Ross Johnston or bringing Johnny Boychuk into the lineup on the blue line.
- Power Play: Flyers (23rd), Islanders (11th)
- Penalty Kill: Flyers (16th), Islanders (13th)
- Recent History vs. Islanders
- Oct. 27, 2019 - Islanders 5, Flyers 3 (at NYI)
- Nov. 16, 2019 - Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (F/SO) (at PHI)
- Feb. 11, 2020 - Islanders 5, Flyers 3 (at NYI)
- Aug. 24, 2020 (Game 1) - Islanders 4, Flyers 0
- Aug. 26, 2020 (Game 2) - Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT)
- Aug. 29, 2020 (Game 3) - Islanders 3, Flyers 1
- Aug. 30, 2020 (Game 4) - Islanders 3, Flyers 2
- Sept. 1, 2020 (Game 5) - Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT)
- Sept. 3, 2020 (Game 6) - Flyers 5, Islanders 4 (F/2OT)
- Flyers Leaders vs. Islanders (Career Regular Season Stats)
- Claude Giroux - 52 GP, 18 G, 38 A, 56 P
- Jake Voracek - 42 GP, 6 G, 27 A, 33 P
- James van Riemsdyk - 37 GP, 11 G, 17 A, 28 P
- Sean Couturier - 37 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 P
- Matt Niskanen - 38 GP, 4 G, 14 A, 18 P
- Carter Hart - 2 GP, 0-2-0, 6.23 GAA, .833 SV%
Where to Watch
Radio: 97.3 ESPN