The comeback kids: Resilient performance from Flyers restores playoff hopes

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The Flyers enter this tilt against the New York Islanders frustrated, as they are 3-9-3 in their last 15 games. After losing to the New Jersey Devils last night 4-1, the Flyers seemed like a team searching for answers. The New York Islanders on the other hand seemed to be fueled by a head coaching change, as they have won their past three games.

Coming into this game at the Barclays Center, the Flyers were 0-7-2 on the road since their 4-3 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on December 14, 2016. The Flyers have been out scored during this road skid 36-12, and they looked to reverse this trend against the Islanders.

Before the game Dave Hakstol stated, “If we want to rest on confidence sagging that is the wrong answer. Our answer is to pull together, dig in, and get back to work.” 

Those were heavy words coming from Hakstol, and it seemed to have fueled the Flyers. The Flyers seemed determined, and gave a complete effort in a huge come from behind 3-2 overtime victory. Steve Mason was great making 36 saves to preserve the victory. This win marks the fifth consecutive victory against the Islanders on the road.

Through the first five minutes of play in the first period, the Flyers controlled the majority of play out shooting the Islanders 5-0. Thomas Greiss saved all five shots keeping the score 0-0.

The Islanders finally got their first shot on net at 13:11, and Mason calmly made the easy save keeping the score 0-0. The Flyers controlled the majority of play in the first period with 7:00 remaining, out shooting the Islanders 11-2.

With 6:55 remaining in the first period, Andrew Macdonald was exiting the Flyers zone. He turned the puck over to Johnny Boychuk, and that lead to a 2-on- 0 odd man rush. Mason made three phenomenal saves in this sequence, but eventually Nick Leddy was able to put it past Mason for his 8th goal of the year. This made the score 1-0 Islanders.

With 52 seconds remaining in the first period, Casey Cizikas was called for the first penalty of the night. The Flyers had good puck movement on the ensuing power play, but could not manage a shot on net keeping the score 1-0 Islanders as the first period came to an end.

The Flyers would have 1:08 of power play time that will carry over into the second period. The Flyers out shot the Islanders 15-8 in the first period, but lost the faceoff margin 59%-41%.

The Flyers began the second period on the power play. Jake Voracek took a shot from the top of the right circle, but Greiss made the shoulder save. Claude Giroux gathered the rebound, and his shot hit the left post keeping the score 1-0 Islanders. The scrum did lead to Nikolay Kulemin taking a hooking penalty on Brayden Schenn.

Crisp passing and good puck movement on the ensuing power play lead to five shots on net, but Greiss had all the answers keeping the score 1-0 Islanders.

With 15:13 remaining in the second period, Calvin De Haan took a slap shot from the top of the point. Mason made the save, but Alan Quine found the rebound. He was able to put it past Mason for a 2-0 Islanders lead.

At 6:30 with the Flyers controlling the majority of play throughout the second period, Giroux and Voracek were on a 2-on-1 odd man rush. Greiss made a nice shoulder pad save keeping the score 2-0 in favor of the Islanders.

Wayne Simmonds finally put the Flyers on the score board with 5:50 remaining in the second period. Simmonds took a pass from Brayden Schenn, and he was able to put it past Greiss for his 19th goal on the year. This made the score 2-1 Islanders.

The second period ended with the Islanders leading 2-1, but the Flyers did out shoot the Islanders 19-13 in that period. The Islanders won the face off margin 56%-44%.

At 18:13 in the third period, Ivan Provorov made a move around an Islanders defenseman. He tried to pass the puck over to Wayne Simmonds, but the puck hit Johnny Boychuks skate past Greiss tying the game at two. It was Provorov’s 4th goal of the year.

With 9:50 remaining in the third period, Ivan Provorov was called for the Flyers first penalty of the night. Steve Mason came up huge as he made five astounding saves. He was arguably the Flyers best penalty killer in keeping the score tied at two.

At 7:43 in the third period, Sean Couturier was called for a delay of game penalty. The Flyers penalty killers were phenomenal, and they did not allow a shot on net keeping the score tied at two.

With just 2:53 remaining in the third period, Cal Clutterbuck took a tripping penalty on Nick Cousins. The Flyers managed two shots on the ensuing power play, but Greiss made both saves keeping the score tied at two.

The third period ended tied at two, with the Islanders out shooting the Flyers 13-7 in the third period. The Islanders won the face off margin 57%-43%.

With 2:00 remaining in the overtime session, Steve Mason made a huge breakaway save on Johnathan Tavares. Shayne Gostisbehere found the puck, and took it down the ice. From behind the net Gostisbehere found Claude Giroux wide open in front of the Islanders net. Giroux made no mistake, and tapped the puck past Greiss for the game winner. The Flyers out shot the Islanders 47-38 for the game, but the Islanders won the face off margin 55%-45%.

The Flyers finally broke their road game losing streak at nine games with this victory. It was a much needed come from behind win. This team never gives up, no matter how bad things get. The Flyers next game is Wednesday at 8 pm against the New York Rangers. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.

 

Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

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