After coming back on Saturday night against the same team, the Philadelphia Flyers blew a two-goal lead in the third period, as they fell to the Islanders in a shootout by the score of 4-3 in New York. Kyle Okposo had a two-point game, as he provided the game-tying goal in regulation and the winner in the shootout, while John Tavares and Brock Nelson also added tallies in the Flyers loss. Anders Nilsson recorded his first win of the season with a 26-save effort.
For the visitors, Matt Read had a ridiculous pair of goals for a multi-goal effort and Wayne Simmonds provided a goal, as Ray Emery suffered the defeat with a 40-save performance.
After 65 minutes couldn’t decide a winner, it came down to a shootout for the Flyers for the second time in their last three games. The Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Frans Nielsen beat Emery and Nilsson stoned Vincent Lecavalier. Claude Giroux leveled it at one after two rounds, as he undressed Nilsson with his attempt. After both Tavares and Read converted on their third-round bids, Okposo beat Emery in the fourth round and Nilsson denied Sean Couturier for the win.
The Flyers’ problem coming into today’s game was starting off slow and having to fight their way back late in games. Today, however, was the exact opposite, as the Orange and Black were trampled in the final stanza and couldn’t prevent an Islanders’ comeback. Emery did as much as he could in the third period, but the unbearable cycling and pressure from New York was eventually too much, as the hosts provided a pair of attempts the netminder literally couldn’t stop. It’s frustrating to see a victory slip through the Flyers’ fingers, but at least the team did grab a point in the standings.
Although it was the third period where everything unraveled for the Flyers, the team didn’t play the most disciplined game before the final stanza, as they handed New York six power-play chances in the loss. If it wasn’t for a shorthanded goal from Read, the Orange and Black may have not even had a lead to blow going into the final period. A few less trips to the sin bin in the game may have resulted in enough energy to fight off the Isles’ comeback and most likely means the Flyers hang on for the win.
After a defensively-played opening 20 minutes, it was Read who opened up the scoring for the visitors.
With Nicklas Grossmann in the box for hooking, Read created a shorthanded bid by placing the puck on his forehand in the Islanders’ zone and fending off a defenseman. When he was finally in position to let go of a shot, Read placed a backhander off the inside of the far post just under the crossbar to beat the befuddled Nilsson for his 12th of 2013-2014 just 1:26 into the second stanza.
Exactly eight minutes later, Tavares was able to whack home a loose puck in Emery’s crease to even the tilt at one. Scott Hartnell was in the sin bin when Tavares skated through the circle to Emery’s left and threw a pass to Okposo in the slot. After Okposo failed to shoot the puck it bounced its way through a few sticks and skates back to Tavares at the side of the net, who slammed home his 23rd tally of the year.
The game was only tied for a little over two minutes before Simmonds provided his 17th of the campaign to regain the lead for the Orange and Black.
After he caused a turnover at the Islanders’ blue line on a clear attempt by the host team, Simmonds completed a give-and-go with Hartnell to drop Nilsson to the ice. Simmonds nearly squandered his opportunity by shooting it directly into the fallen Nilsson. Fortunately for Simmonds and the Flyers, the gritty forward was able to force the rebound home for a 2-1 lead with 8:30 left in the second period.
Read made it a two-goal game with 1:44 left in the middle period, as he beat Nilsson with another impressive move from in close, as he roofed one past the goaltender’s blocker at the top of the crease.
In the third period, Nelson made it a one-goal game again with 11:44 left in regulation. As the Islanders cycled in the Flyers’ zone, Josh Bailey was able to possess the puck at the side of the net to Emery’s left and nailed a cross-crease pass to Nelson, who had a wide open net for his eighth of the season.
As the Islanders continued their dominant cycling, Okposo finally potted the game-tying goal with 2:58 left in regulation.
After overtime failed to provide a winner, it was on to the shootout, where the Islanders grabbed the extra point.
The Orange and Black will need to rebound quickly, as they return home to host the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.
Notes: The Flyers dropped to 3-5 in shootouts this season and to 4-6 in games past regulation this season…Read registered his second shorthanded goal of the season today. His first came against Cam Talbot and the New York Rangers on October 24th, 2013…Emery recorded his first 40-save game of the season. It’s his first 40-save games since he had 45 saves in a win over the Calgary Flames as a Chicago Blackhawk on February 2nd last season…Today was Nilsson’s second win the NHL. His first came on March 4th, 2012 against the New Jersey Devils…Jakub Voracek left today’s game and will be evaluated in Philadelphia. He had one hit and one blocked shot in 11:52 TOI…Philly extended their point streak to four games, as they are 2-0-2 in their last four games…Today was Read’s sixth two-goal game in his career…With his goal today, Simmonds is now one goal away from 100 NHL goals in his career…The Flyers dropped to 3-0-1 against the Islanders this season. They also dropped to 17-12-4 against the Eastern Conference and to 9-6-3 against the Metropolitan Division…Philly dropped to 25-19-6. They were 30-14-6 after 50 games in 2011-2012 and 33-12-5 in 2010-2011.