The Islanders took to the ice tonight for their 38th game of the year at the Coli against the Flyers. They came in just two points behind Washington for first place in the division. Although, the two teams came into tonight with the same number of games. Carter Hart was the goalie for Philadelphia, and Ilya Sorokin got the start for New York.
Islanders Control Play Early
Although they were outshot 21-10 through the first two periods, the Islanders were in command for much of the first two periods. The shot totals may not have made that clear, but it was obvious that the first two periods were the Islanders’ brand of hockey.
Anthony Beauvillier stayed hot tonight pocketing two goals. His first came 12:01 into the first period on the powerplay with the assists coming from Matt Martin and Jordan Eberle. His second 15:40 into the second. Mathew Barzal got the lone assist on that goal.
The Islanders were hungry for blood, and despite only being 1/4 on the powerplay in regulation, they truly controlled play for the first 50 minutes of the period, as the shots for Philadelphia were a lot of one-and-done chances from the outside.
Philly Seizes Control Late
As the Islanders got to the point in the game where they wanted to just wind the clock down and get a win, they got sloppy. Although, they were fortunate that it didn’t cost them the two points.
Philadelphia gained momentum after Claude Giroux scored to make it 2-1. Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek were credited with the assists. That goal came at 6:38 into the third. The goal seemed to come out of nowhere after Oliver Wahlstrom fell down in the corner, leaving Konecny alone.
Shortly after, Giroux scored again. This time, it came on a wide-open point shot at 10:32 elapsed in the period. Once again, it was Voracek and Konecny with the assists. The Islanders had blown a 2-0 lead in just 3:54.
The remainder of the third was more of the same for New York, but they still managed to stay alive and get the point out of it.
Isles Recover and Win in Shootout
The overtime period was controlled almost entirely by the Islanders. They outshot the Flyers 3-0, and Philly barely had any offensive zone time whatsoever. The Isles controlled the puck for about four minutes of the five-minute period.
They even gained a powerplay opportunity with 15 seconds left, which prompted head coach Barry Trotz to call a timeout. The Islanders failed to score on the chance, so it was off to the shootout.
In the shootout, the goalies were on full display. The shooters for both teams tried almost every method in the book, and both Hart and Sorokin were up to the challenge. It didn’t matter what any of the first three shooters for either side tried, the goalies were either up to the challenge, or the shot went wide. Giroux almost completed his hat-trick, though, but he hit the post.
In round four, the Islanders sent out Mat Barzal, and he capitalized, beating Hart low and to the blocker side on a beautiful shot. Sorokin made the easy stop on Jakub Voracek, who tried to go five-hole.
For the Islanders, tonight was a relatively good game. Aside from the short stretch in the third where Philadelphia made the game competitive again in the third, they controlled a majority of the play. They are now tied with Washington with 52 points atop the MassMutual NHL East Division, although they have one extra game played. They will have two days off until they host the Capitals again at Nassau Colisseum at 7:00 pm on Tuesday night.
1st Star: Claude Giroux – 2G, 4 shots, +2
2nd Star: Anthony Beauvillier – 2G, 3 shots, +1
3rd Star: Ilya Sorokin – W, 30/32, .938 SV%