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Islanders Win Back to Back Games Against the Flyers

Islanders Flyers Highlights

After a disappointing weekend loss to the Capitals, the Islanders came back strong against the Flyers. They won a home and home set against Philadelphia, winning 4-1 on Monday and 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday. 

Monday at UBS Arena

Islanders Flyers Highlights


Courtesy of Jim McIsaac

The Islanders played a very complete game in this one as opposed to the sloppy game they played on Saturday. They took their first lead of the game in the second period off a Brock Nelson wrist shot with a nice set up from Josh Bailey. A few minutes later, Casey Cizikas tipped in a Robin Salo shot to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. The Flyers answered back after a Travis Konecny shot ricocheted off of Noah Dobson’s shoulder and past Ilya Sorokin’s blocker side. The Islanders got back their two-goal lead when Anthony Beauvillier got a hold of a loose puck in front of Martin Jones and got it in glove side. A Matt Martin empty netter with a minute left secured the 4-1 victory for the Islanders. 

The main star of this game was Sorokin, who only lost a shutout due to an unfortunate bounce. Aside from that moment, he was dominant in net and came up with 26 saves. A lot of those saves were on great opportunities for the Flyers, but he never gave them a chance. Another notable performance in this game was that of the penalty kill. The Islanders took four penalties in the game, and successfully killed all four Flyers power-play chances. This continues a strong level of play that was also on display in the Capitals loss. 

Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center

Islanders Flyers Highlights
Courtesy of ESPN

The Islanders were not as dominant in this game, but still came through with a road victory. They took an early lead after Robin Salo got his first NHL goal on a slap shot from the point off a feed from Mat Barzal. James van Riemsdyk tied it up on a power-play goal right in front of Semyon Varlamov later in the first. Josh Bailey got a wrist shot by Carter Hart in the second period to give the Islanders their lead back. But in the same minute, Konecny scored on a wrist shot of his own to tie it back up. Noted Islander killer Claude Giroux scored early in the third to give the Flyers their first lead of the game. In the final five minutes, Cizikas deflected a Scott Mayfield shot to tie the game at three. After an eventful overtime period, the game went to a shootout. The Islanders haven’t fared well in shootouts, but luckily neither have the Flyers. After eight rounds of missed opportunities, Oliver Wahlstrom scored a ninth-round shootout winner for the Islanders.

The Flyers played a great game compared to their losing performance on Monday. They managed 34 shots and were able to capitalize on their opportunities. But despite the Flyers best efforts, the Islanders still managed to steal the win. Aside from winning the game, this wasn’t the Islanders’ best performance. They’re now suddenly in 0/6 stretch on the power play over the last three games. In addition, the Islanders again let up a lot of quality chances that nearly cost them this game. Varlamov didn’t have the dominant performance Sorokin had against the Flyers, but he still came up big. Most notably he used his blocker to stop a Rasmus Ristolainen slap shot from crossing the line in the dying seconds of the second period. He was also perfect in the shootout, even though the Flyers didn’t give him much of a challenge. Two points is two points, but this definitely was not a great overall game for the team.

Analysis

There were a number of similar contributors in these back-to-back games. First off is Robin Salo, who got points in both games. It’s nice to see the rookie start to develop his offensive game. His level of play is really promising as a 23-year-old player, and could even get him a chance to stay in the lineup upon Ryan Pulock’s return. There’s also Casey Cizikas, who got his first two goals of the season in these games. The usually offensively sound Cizikas has struggled on that side of the puck. He only managed one assist leading up to these games.

To see him get on the board twice is a great development, especially with how clutch Tuesday’s goal was. Hopefully, his performance in these two games sparks more offensive production out of him going forward. Lastly, there was Josh Bailey. Bailey got a lot of heat for bad play against the Capitals, but his overall offensive game has been strong as of late. He has 6 points in his last 6 games, getting a goal and an assist in both Flyers games. A continued turnaround from Josh Bailey’s mediocre season thus far would do wonders for the Islanders offense. 

Next Games

The Islanders go back home to UBS Arena for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. They play the Arizona Coyotes on Friday, who are second to last in the entire league. That one should hopefully be an easy win that builds momentum for Saturday’s game. The Islanders host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, who beat them 3-0 the last time out. That loss came when the Islanders were dealing with their mass COVID outbreak. Saturday gives the Islanders the chance to prove that their (mostly) healthy lineup can beat a Maple Leafs team that ranks top 10 in the NHL right now. 

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images

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