The Flyers got the early goal and momentum Saturday night, but the New York Islanders took control thereafter, and now have a 2-1 lead in the series after a 3-1 win in Game 3.
The Flyers are 7-22 all-time in playoff series they’ve trailed 2-1.
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Here are our observations:
Flyers came out fast: The Flyers came out faster in the first period than they had the first two games. They had six of the first seven shots on goal and were pressuring the Islanders with their forechecking.
Great screens: Tyler Pitlick was the beneficiary of two great screens on the night’s opening goal.
Ivan Provorov set the screen high, James van Riemsdyk was at the doorstep and goalie Semyon Varlamov never got a clear view of the shot. The line of Scott Laughton, Pitlick and van Riemsdyk was on fire that first period. Laughton set up the play by shielding the puck from Leo Komarov and feeding Pitlick at the top of the circle.
Oh well: The Flyers entered the game 8-0 in the postseason when scoring first.
Hart sharp early: The Islanders were putting a lot of pressure on Carter Hart in the first period, especially in the final 10 minutes. Here is a great stop he made on Brock Nelson.
Hart moved quickly laterally and got his glove on the shot just in time to tip it away.
Barzal stepped it up: The Islanders’ Mathew Barzal can break down defenders one-on-one and put a lot of pressure on a defense. He has great speed, and while the Flyers did a good job containing him in the first period, he came out and set the tone in the second. During the first four minutes he had two great chances, missing a one timer and then a wrap-around attempt, but then it was Barzal who set up the Islanders’ equalizer.
Barzal took on two Flyers at the boards and passed to Matt Martin in front who scored the goal. Hart got a piece of it but not enough.
Second period dominance: The Islanders not only outscored the Flyers, 2-0, in the second period, but they outshot them, 15-6. Had Hart not come up big on a few occasions, it could have been worse for the Flyers. The Islanders really went into overdrive after Pitlick scored the game’s opening goal.
Outworking for the second goal: The Islanders’ second goal was set up by Derick Brassard, who kept the play alive with a keep at the blue line.
Brassard then outworked Matt Niskanen behind the net to feed Komarov for a killer of a goal with just 5.1 seconds left in the second period, giving the Islanders the 2-1 lead. A turnover by Ivan Provorov eventually led to this goal, and turnovers in general hurt the Flyers in the second.
Lee in a comfortable position: The Islanders’ Anders Lee makes his living in front of the net and that led to the Islanders’ third goal.
The shot wasn’t a hard one. We’re wondering if Hart had his eye on Barzal, who was alone on the far post.
Big save by Varlamov: In the third period, with the Islanders up 3-1, Semyon Varlamov made this outstanding save on Joel Farabee.