Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 66: PHI 4, NYI 1 - Fresh Prince of Ell Air
FIVE points out of a playoff spot with 16 games to go, baby!
The Philadelphia Flyers WIN 4-1 at Nassau Colosseum over the New York Islanders, taking 5 out of 6 points on this critical 3-game road trip.
This, like so many other over the past 2 months, was an improbable win for the Flyers. Not only were they playing on the road against a strong team in the Islanders, they were down two forwards. Jake Voracek sat out the game with a lower-body injury, forcing the Flyers to play with 7 defenseman. And to make matters worse, Nolan Patrick took a shot to the ear less than 5 minutes in and did not return.
Buckle up, Brian Elliott, because your teammates are going to need your best today. Thankfully, they got it. It certainly helped that the Flyers got the first goal as well. Travis Konecny blew by Scott Mayfield on the left wing and got Robin Lehner to move off the left post, where Konecny put home his 21st goal of the season. Not to be outdone, the other Travis (that being Sanheim) decided to get it on the fun, scoring on a scramble in front. After 20 minutes, Islanders 0, Travii 2.
It was going to take more than one name to win this game for Philly, but thankfully we have diversity. Scott Laughton, he of doing everything right but never actually scoring decided to correct that last part when he banged home his own rebound just a couple minutes into the 2nd. The score now - Travii 2, Scott 1, Robin Lehner - done, as Barry Trotz was forced to make a rare goalie change.
Thankfully, the only team whose goaltending got better as the game went on was the Flyers. Brian Elliott was arguably the team's best player in this one, turning things around from a meh showing Thursday in Columbus. In particular, Elliott made a sprawling rebound save on Jordan Eberle to prevent the Isles from cutting into the lead during the 2nd. The Flyers thanked for his efforts with another goal, this time via an Oskar Lindblom cross-ice pass that deflected off elite 1st line center Sean Couturier's leg and in.
New York was never able to make a serious push in this one - their only came with less than 5 minutes less when Adam Pelech pushed home a loose puck through Elliott. But the Flyers took advantage of another stellar outing in goal and a sloppy Islanders squad to take home another critical 2 points, ending this Metro road trip on a high note.
With Columbus losing at home to Winnipeg tonight, the Flyers sit 3 points behind the Jackets for the 9 seed and 5 behind Montreal (and the Penguins) for the last playoff spot. They have played the same number of games as the Habs, but one more than 'Lumbus and the Pens. Obviously, nearly every game is still must win. But the road to the playoffs and pulling off this crazy miracle (so long as everyone gets healthy) seems just a bit more tangible than it did when the weekend began.
Nolan Patrick never returned to the game, though he was listed as "questionable" to return in the 2nd, which might be a good sign. After the game, Scott Gordon said Patty was it good spirits despite receiving stitches over his ear, as he suffered a laceration. His status for Wednesday is unknown.
As for Voracek, he underwent an MRI, which will tell the extent of his injury. Today's game breaks a 229 iron-man streak for Voracek, spread out over the last 4 seasons. For the Flyers sakes, hopefully his injury is not serious.
In game number 401, Radko Gudas recorded his 100th career assist with a primary helper on a beautiful bank pass to set up TK's goal. Crazy to think Claude Giroux has half of that (he got his 50th on Sanheim's goal) in just 66 contests.
Over their last 16 games, the Flyers power play is scoring on about 1 out of every 3 attempts, a complete 180 from where they were before this streak began. Overall, they are up from dead last to 20th in the league at 17.7%.
Despite the loss today, the Islanders are still in the midst of an incredible season. Perhaps reminiscing the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights, the Isles have gone from an island of misfit toys to the top of their division. They dropped to second in the Metro today, but are still on pace for history. New York could become the first team since the 1918-19 Ottawa Senators to go from giving up the most goals in the league one season to the fewest the next.
Another note on how hot the Islanders have been - this was the first time they've lost back-to-back games in regulation this calendar year. The last time was December 12th-14th.
Sunday was the Flyers first win at Nassau since October 2013, though in fairness the last time they played a game here was January 2015. Rob Zepp and Ray Emery (RIP) both saw action in net in a 7-4 loss. Only 4 Flyers (G, Coots, AMac, and Raffl) dressed for both games.
Lol, Chris VandeVelde had a goal in that game assisted by Luke Schenn. How far this team has com-what do you mean Corban Knight got the helmet? Eh, he played a career-high 17:21 and had four blocked shots, fair enough.
1st - C. Giroux (PHI) - 2 A
2nd - B. Elliott (PHI) - .967 SV% (29 Saves/30 Shots)
3rd - I. Provorov (PHI) - 2 SOG, Team-High 23:46 TOI
PHI - 2/6 vs. WSH (38-21-7)
NYI - 2/6 vs. OTT (23-38-5)