After a last-minute, heart-breaking 4-3 loss to the Flyers on Thursday night, the Islanders got their revenge. On Saturday night, the Islanders blasted the Flyers 6-1. Was it the Retro Jerseys? Maybe. Was it the limited fans? Maybe that too. Above all, however, it was the teamwork and multi-pronged attack; five different Islanders players scored tonight.
All-Out Islanders Attack
The Isles wasted no time putting the pressure on the Flyers tonight. By the halfway mark of the first period, they already had three goals. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the first, a power-play goal. It was his 10th goal of the season and his fourth on the power play. About two minutes later, the Isles scored yet again, this time by Jordan Eberle. Like Pageau, it was also his 10th goal of the season. However, it was Thomas Hickey‘s assist that made it even better. This game was Hickey’s first game in 716 days–his first after losing his brother to cancer. It would be his first of two on the night.
Casey Cizikas scored the next two goals for the Islanders, the second one coming off of a great saucer pass from Hickey that hit the near corner. Joel Farabee was able to bring one back for the Flyers before the period ended, but it was the only Philadelphia goal of the game.
Things stayed quiet in the second period, but then came back to life in the third. Anthony Beauvillier, who hasn’t been as productive as of late, was rewarded for playing with a lot of pressure. He forced a bad pass and was able to score with a little help from Brock Nelson. The last goal on the night game from Josh Bailey, who was practically gifted a goal from Carter Hart. It was a great way to end the night and a good morale boost for Bailey.
A Tale of Two Goalies
Ilya Sorokin started for the Islanders tonight and he was sharp yet again. After giving up that goal in the first, he was lights-out. He made 23 saves on 24 shots, including three on Philly’s three power plays. With this win tonight, he improves to 7-2 on the season with a .915 save percentage. Both he and Semyon Varlamov have been great for the Islanders this season, with Varlamov having a 13-6 record with a .923 SV%.
On the other side of the ice was Carter Hart. He went 22-28 which amounts to .786%. Hart has struggled recently, despite getting a couple of wins. He has allowed 17 goals in his last four games, including tonight, but the Flyers have been able to win two of those. His record on the season sits right above .500 at 8-7 but Bailey’s goal tonight shows Hart’s mediocre form.
What’s Next for the Islanders
The Islanders finish their three-game series with the Flyers on Monday. After that, however, things get blurry. They were originally scheduled to play the Boston Bruins on Tuesday but that had to be postponed after multiple Bruins players went on the COVID-19 list. The two teams are scheduled to play again on Thursday, but that game is still up in the air. Nevertheless, it’s important that the Islanders win on Monday so that they can build some momentum for whenever they do play next.