Flyers win streak stranded at five after loss to Islanders

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Flyers' Carter Hart makes save of the game against Islanders.
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) stops a shot by New York Islanders’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) as Flyers Nick Seeler (24) watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The winning streak was nice while it lasted.

Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t match the New York Islanders. They trailed but played closely to their Metropolitan Division opponent. John Tortorella praised Ilya Sorokin, who couldn’t be conquered despite a late push:

“[We] had a push at the end; couldn’t solve the goalie.”

John Tortorella; 11/22/2023

Brock Nelson scored the game-winner. Here’s how it all happened from the UBS Arena on Long Island:

Philadelphia Flyers at New York Islanders

Before the Islanders hosted the Flyers, Tortorella expressed the importance of scoring first in the NHL. Philadelphia is 10-1-0 when they score first, but 0-7-1 when the opponent is the first to contribute to the scoreboard.

“It’s been leaguewide since the game’s been played. You score that first goal, and you have a pretty good chance at being on the right side of it.”

John Tortorella; 11/22/2023

Anders Lee scored the all-important first goal. Marc Staal and Yegor Zamula were occupied with Oliver Wahlstrom along the boards. Wahlstrom dished the puck to Lee once Staal went to double-team with Zamula. Lee pulled up at the post and popped the puck past Carter Hart, 1-0, with 18:11 remaining in the first period.

“The first one, I want back. Lee just drives the net, shoves my pad and my skate off the post, and just whacks it in. I got to be stronger on my post there.”

Carter Hart; 11/22/2023

Less than a minute later, Travis Konecny took the puck from Scott Mayfield, creating a good shooting chance on Sorokin. Then, Cam York wound up a strong slapshot from the blue line, but Sorokin didn’t give up a rebound.

Hart began to find a groove. He turned away Alexander Romanov twice; one, a wide-angled wrist shot, and another from the faceoff circle.

Nicolas Deslauriers had the puck stolen from him by Hudson Fasching but hustled back on the defensive transition. At the other end, Deslauriers recovered, trucked Casey Cizikas, and moved the puck to Garnet Hathaway. Soon after, Konecny got Mathew Barzal with an open-ice hit on the forecheck. Joel Farabee did serve a minor penalty for roughing, and Hart denied Barzal and Noah Dobson scoring chances. The Flyers finished 2/2 on the penalty kill.

Tortorella noted each team had scoring chances in the second period. Sean Walker put a shot on goal, creating a rebound for Bobby Brink. Brink used his body to protect, then swept the puck to Ryan Poehling behind the net, but Sorokin denied the wraparound attempt. Later, Walker had another shot ring off the post while shorthanded. On the opposite end, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was turned away by Hart, who dove across the crease and used his mask to make the save.

“[In] the first period, [there’s] not many chances by either team. [The] second period, a number of chances by both teams.”

John Tortorella; 11/22/2023

Nelson deflected a shot from Adam Pelech past Hart, 2-0, with 6:50 remaining in the second period. Moments before, Hart made a great stick save on a rocket shot by Kyle Palmieri.

York cut the deficit in half. Owen Tippett saw York making a backdoor cut toward the crease, but Sorokin made the first save. Sticking with the puck, York backhanded the rebound past Sorokin, 2-1, with 5:42 remaining in the second period.

“It was a nice play by Tip [Tippett] there in the middle. I thought that was one of our best offensive zone shifts probably in the second. A good save on the first one, then found the rebound on the second.”

Cam York; 11/22/2023

Nelson added his second goal of the evening. Scott Laughton hoped to cross the puck toward Deslauriers to end a puck battle, but Pelech intercepted and began the transition. He dished to Pierre Engvall, who hesitated long enough to deliver a hard pass to Nelson on the crease for the quick stick, 3-1, with 17:27 remaining in the third period.

Sorokin held his ground on Cam Atkinson. He had a great rebound chance after a shot by Farabee but couldn’t bring Philadelphia closer. Hart became a little wreckless with the puck behind the crease. Nelson was waiting for Hart to flip the puck away from behind the net and nearly squared Palmieri up with an empty net to shoot at. York got low, blocking the shot and bailing out Hart.

Farabee put the Flyers within one goal of New York. Hathaway tangled with Dobson at the crease, and Farabee was open. Brink kept the puck in the offensive zone on the forecheck, located Farabee, and made the pass for the tip-in, 3-2, with 4:04 remaining in the third period.

“He’s [Brink] a good offensive player. He’s willing to hold onto the puck, wait for plays to happen, has done his job pretty well away from the puck; he’s had a good year. He’s out there when we’re trying to tie it up because he belongs out there; he makes plays.”

John Tortorella; 11/22/2023

At the final horn, the Islanders held onto a 3-2 lead for the win. They’re 1-0-0 versus Philadelphia this season, with a rematch set for this Saturday.

Next Up

Next up, the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers at 1pm on Black Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)