A victory against the New York Islanders meant more than two points in the standings. It meant the Philadelphia Flyers can defeat the elite.
Despite blowing a lead, the Flyers were able to win the game 4-3 over the Islanders. The game-winning scorer put it straight forward himself as well:
“We found a way to win the game, and that’s the only thing that matters tonight.”Oskar Lindblom; 3/18/2021
Straight from the first star of the game himself, Oskar Lindblom hit the bullseye. Twice in fact, including the game-winner. The goals scored from the Philadelphia Flyers begin and finish with Lindblom.
Following a 0-9 loss to the New York Rangers, the Flyers needed to leave no questions. They either can prove they’re better than their worst performance, or they double-down on their unfortunate identity. Tonight, Philadelphia survived the New York Islanders for the third time in as many games this season. A year ago, the Islanders won every regular-season contest.
There is a running trend regarding the importance of each Flyers game in 2020-2021. Every game is a must-win, resembling urgency. Defeating the Islanders, 4-3, meant more than a pivotal two-points in the Mass Mutual Eastern Division standings. Philadelphia had to win this game to prove they can still battle quality teams.
Flipping the script, the Flyers took the pressure off their shoulders for an evening. On a positive note, this win tonight is the first the Islanders have surrendered at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. As the underdog, Philadelphia took the ice with a short memory. Alain Vigneault sent his defensive unit out with Carter Hart to redeem themselves.
“We laid it all out tonight.”Alain Vigneault; 3/18/2021
When Vigneault spoke before the game, his philosophy of allowing his defensive lineup to redeem themselves was a tough sell. The only difference between the Rangers’ loss and the Islanders’ victory was Nate Prosser in the lineup for Robert Hagg. Through two periods, the Flyers defense awakened.
Then, the third period featured a blown lead. Michael Dal Colle took a straightforward approach when scoring on Hart. It’s a goal that Hart wants back. Nick Leddy earned his second-star status, tallying three assists as the Islanders made a comeback. In the end, Lindblom bailed out a collapse by Philadelphia.
“I definitely needed to make more saves in the third period, so they didn’t come back. But we won, and it’s something we can build off of.”Carter Hart; 3/18/2021
For Hart, this win is huge for finding a rhythm. He and Brian Elliott have begun a goaltending carousel this season, with Elliott logging the better statistics. As the worm turns, Hart needs to find his feet in the crease. After tonight, the Flyers are halfway through the 2020-2021 season. Philadelphia is ready to carry this momentum into Saturday night.
“Actions speak louder than words.”Carter Hart; 3/18/2021
They do. It’s time to fight for a playoff spot.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre