Flyers suffer 3-2 Shootout loss to the Islanders: Instant analysis

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The Philadelphia Flyers had an opportunity to begin April on the right foot. The New York Islanders buckled down in a shootout.

Before tonight’s game, the Boston Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins. For the Philadelphia Flyers, that means they were five points out of a playoff spot before the puck dropped.

In the preview to tonight’s game, the New York Islanders goaltender, Ilya Sorokin, was among the highlighted stars. Joining him on the priority list was Anthony Beauvilier. Both players acted as catalysts to the Islanders picking up a victory against the Flyers tonight.

Following a forgettable March, April needs to be better.

Defensively, Philadelphia did not play poorly. Carter Hart bounced back after Alain Vigneault made the executive decision to keep him out of the lineup. Unfortunately, bad penalties put the Flyers behind early in the first period. Philadelphia would tie the game in the third period. Could they steal the victory?

Flyers start the first period slowly

While it’s refreshing to see the Flyers engage in fighting to set the tone of hockey games, it doesn’t make up for lacking discipline. Samuel Morin and Ross Johnston participated in fisticuffs within the first five minutes of the game.

Hart took on high percentage shots early on, looking like he corrected his flaws. Unfortunately, Morin served a two-minute minor penalty for interference. The awful play presented a glorious opportunity for the Islanders. Matt Martin dropped a silky pass across the crease to Anthony Beauvilier, scoring his first of the night. On the powerplay, the Islanders took a 1-0 lead.

The best penalty kill for Philadelphia is not committing penalties at all.

Finishing out the first period, the Flyers had a long five-on-three advantage. Sorokin made huge saves against the Philadelphia forwards, which continues a trend this season. A huge missed opportunity by the Flyers.

From bad to worse

Johnston remained out of the game since he took a good punch from Morin. Ever since Morin has joined Philadelphia’s defense, he’s locked-and-loaded a thunderous knuckle sandwich.

The Flyers played well in the second period but allowed one heartbreaking goal. Again, Beauvilier scored on Hart from the slot. Philadelphia failed a clear while Beauvilier rocketed a shot past Hart. The Islanders would lead, 2-0.

Once again, the Flyers had another powerplay opportunity. To this point, the Flyers settled their undisciplined play. Jean-Gabriel Pageau remained a headache for Philadelphia on the Islanders’ penalty kill. It’s the small details that create team wins.

A late surge?

Remember when the Flyers were beginning to play intelligently? Ivan Provorov changed that with a clothesline to Mathew Barzal. There is a clear line between physical and dirty hockey.

Claude Giroux put Philadelphia on his back in the third period. First, he sniped a backhand shot past Sorokin to cut the Islanders lead, 2-1. On the second, Giroux ripped a shot from the point. Sorokin had a little bit of traffic in front of him as the puck found the back of the net. The Flyers tied the game, 2-2.

The Islanders had a few chances from Leo Komarov and Barzal in the final moments of regulation. Hart stood tall to force overtime.

Overtime beckons

Both teams played a balanced overtime period. Neither team could take the needed advantage. Hart made a couple of great glove saves to force the shootout.

Flyers suffer a shootout heartbreak

Hart saved the first three Islanders’ shootout attempts. Sean Couturier did beat Sorokin, but the post denied him. In the end, Barzal scored the game-winner as Sorokin shut down Jakub Voracek. Philadelphia adds a point towards the standings, but the Islanders earn the win, 3-2.

Three Stars

Up Next For The Flyers

Next up, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Boston Bruins on Monday. Puck drop is at 7pm and can be watched on the NHL Network.

Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre