The Flyers rebound like Wilt Chamberlain in his prime.
They haven’t lost two straight since early January, and they continued that impressive streak with a wild 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday, knotting the series at one win apiece.
It marked the 11th straight time they had followed a loss with a win since Jan. 7.
“We’re very competitive, very combative,” coach Alain Vigneault said of the team’s mindset after a defeat. “When we’ve lost a game, there’s an extra sense of urgency and preparation in the next game we’re playing. Without a doubt, in tonight’s game the guys were ready. They were focused. We knew we had to win and they went out and found a way to get it done.”
They blew an early 3-0 lead but won it on Phil Myers’ goal early in overtime.
Myers became the second Flyers rookie defenseman in franchise history to score an OT playoff goal. The first was Andy Delmore in 2000 against Pittsburgh. He was the third rookie in club history to win a playoff game in OT, joining Delmore and winger Don Blackburn in 1968.
Myers also became the first Flyers defenseman to score a playoff OT goal since Delmore.
In the wake of the NBA and WNBA postponing games, and some MLB teams doing the same to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, Flyers center Sean Couturier was asked if there was anything NHL players can do to show support.
“I think we each have to take responsibility and just respect each other, treat each other equally,” Couturier said. “I think that will make us advance in society, whatever your skin color or sex origin, I think it’s just important to respect each other and treat each other equally.”
Myers said the dramatic win will propel the Flyers in Game 3.
“I think we’re going to carry the momentum into [Thursday’s] game,” he said. “Obviously we’ve got to regroup. We can’t get too high or too low. I think we’re going to get ready like any other game.”
This was the first playoff overtime game between the Flyers and Islanders since the decisive Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final. In Philadelphia, it is known, simply, as the Leon Stickle Game.
Defenseman Robert Hagg and left winger James van Riemsdyk were back in the lineup, replacing Shayne Gostisbehere and Scott Laughton, respectively. Hagg had a team-high five hits, two blocked shots, and a plus-2 rating in 16:07. Van Riemsdyk had two shots and was minus-1 in 15:19. ... Claude Giroux had a strong game, collecting an assist, winning a defensive-zone faceoff that led to another goal, and winning 62% of his faceoffs. ... Myers and Tyler Pitlcik each had four hits. ... Couturier had two points and won 57% of his faceoffs. ... The Isles’ Anders Lee had a goal and eight shots but was minus-2. ... The Flyers had played 31 straight postseason games without OT, the longest stretch in franchise history.