Once again the Flyers came into Tuesday night’s game with the role of the spoiler. The Islanders needed just one point in the game to clinch a playoff spot. They were unable to do so, though, as the Flyers used some very late magic to come away with the 5-4 win.
[adinserter block=”1″]The Flyers came out with the jump in this game as they spent the first few minutes with possession in the Islanders zone. A hit by Eric Boulton on Carlo Colaiacavo did not sit well with Ryan White. White and Boulton would drop the gloves and each get five minutes for fighting, but White would get an extra minor to put the Islanders on the man advantage. Nicklas Grossmann would also take a penalty to put the Flyers on a 5-on-3 disadvantage.
The Flyers were able to weather the storm and got a 5-on-3 power play chance of their own a little later in the first period. The team was unable to capitalize on the first power play, but did manage to get a goal on the second try. Mark Streit came into the offensive zone with the puck and sent a pass over to Claude Giroux, who fired a one-timer past goaltender Jaroslav Halak to put the Flyers up 1-0.
“We had a couple of good chances before I scored and the second goal Raffl did a good job going to the net and opening up the lane and I just tried to hit the net,” Giroux said.
Giroux would get his second of the game about five minutes later. The Flyers captain would tip the puck out of the defensive zone to Jakub Voracek, who then found Streit. Streit would once again find Giroux and the trio would pair up for another goal to put Philadelphia up 2-0.
The Islanders would get their first goal of the game on the power play in the second period. Ryan Strome carried the puck on the right side of the offensive zone. He sent a low shot towards the net that John Tavares redirected past goaltender Steve Mason to cut the Flyers lead to 2-1.
The Flyers pulled away a bit, scoring a little over a minute after Tavares’ goal. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was able to step around Kyle Okposo and make his way to the front of the net. Vincent Lecavalier saw the opening, sending the pass over to Bellemare who sent a one-timer past Halak to put the Flyers up by three goals.
“Vandy made a great play to Vinny and then I saw Vinny get the puck. I skated toward the net as hard as I could and they gave me a tap-in there. It was an open net,” Bellemare said.
Philadelphia would continue their scoring ways as Carlo Colaiacavo got just his second of the season about three minutes into the third period. Zac Rinaldo, skating toward the boards on the right side, made a no-look backhand pass into the slot for Colaiacavo. The defensemen was able to one-time it past Halak to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead.
A bit of a breakdown by the Flyers allowed the Islanders to get back into the game with three straight goals. Anders Lee got things started off with his 24th of the season. Mason stopped the original shot taken by Josh Bailey, but kicked the rebound to the middle of the ice where Lee was waiting. Lee would one-time the shot past Mason to cut the lead to 4-2.
Johnny Boychuck would be the next Islander to find the back of the net. After the Flyers iced the puck, Tavares would win the ensuing faceoff and send the puck over to Boychuck, whose shot found its way through traffic and behind Mason to bring the score to 4-3. Lee would follow up with second of the evening to tie the score. Tavares would win another faceoff and get the puck over to Lee who would make the deke and score with just 28 seconds left in the contest.
[adinserter block=”2″]This was where the Flyers would get a little magic. With time running out, Sean Couturier pushed the puck ahead to Brayden Schenn. The winger would skate to the left circle of the offensive zone and put a shot on net that slipped through the pads of Halak and into the net with just two seconds left in the game to give the Flyers the 5-4 victory.
“You’re not thinking that one’s going in from where the position I was on the ice. You never know, I guess that’s what happens when you put pucks on net,” Schenn said. “Sometimes you get a lucky one and I’ll take those any day.”
The Flyers have just two games remaining in their season as they welcome in the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday evening. Puck-drop is set for 7 p.m.