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Islanders dominate but still drop Game 6 to Flyers in double OT

Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders dominate Game 6 but still fail to win as the Philadelphia Flyers force Game 7 with double OT winner.

Two big lineup notes going into tonight’s game for both sides. For the New York Islanders Mathew Barzal was in the lineup after sustaining a scary injury to his eye late in the third period of Game 5.

We were told he was “OK” but no one was sure if he was game ready or if he would be lumped into that catch-all “unfit to play” category. By puck drop, we knew he was in.

For the Philadelphia Flyers, Oscar Lindblom was on the team. Back in December, it was announced that Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Lindblom finished his treatment two months ago and is now on the ice. Wildly inspiring stuff.

The Islanders couldn’t get lost in the moment too long. They had a job to do. Eliminate the Philadelphia Flyers and prevent a Game 7.

Attention to Detail

The Islanders main task in the opening period (I assume) had to be: Attention to detail.

Do all the basic things right and they wouldn’t just survive the period, they might even leave it with a lead. So it’s no shock that Barry Trotz was -to put it lightly – not pleased after his team was down 2-0 11:52 into the opening frame.

Both Flyers goals – one from Kevin Hayes at 10:16 and then JVR at 11:52 – came off turnovers from the Islanders. Very much not in the spirit of what Barry Trotz would have likely wanted from his team in the first period.

The Islanders needed an answer. And it came from

Derick Brassard

who was stapled to the Islanders bench for much of the third period of Game 5.

Since that benching by Barry Trotz, Brassard had two goals in seven shifts (more to come from Brass). That’s what you call effective coaching. After a bad turnover that leads to a Flyers goal, Barry did the one (and only thing) a coach can do, he took Brass’s ice-time away. Brassard clearly answered.

Big Answer

By the halfway point of the second period, the Flyers had as many shots on Semyon Varlamov as the Islanders had put past Carter Hart; two.

First, it was

Matt Martin

on the board to tie the game at two. Martin, who had one playoff goal in 38 playoff games prior to these playoffs now has four goals in

these

playoffs alone.

Alain Vigneault would challenge the goal. Casey Cizikas was tripped up and slid into Carter Hart who was unable to make the stop. That’s not goaltender interference and the goal stood. As a reward, the Islanders got a power play.

That’s a power play that has been efficient 27.3 percent of the time in this series. Only the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins have a better PP% than the Isles since the start of the second round. They added to that efficiency and made Vigneault pay for his mistake thanks to

Anders Lee

.

In 68 games this season, Anders Lee has two power-play goals. In this series, Anders Lee has three power-play goals. Getting goals on the man-advantage was one the aspects missing from Lee’s game in 2019-20 and it seems he’s found it.

After Michael Raffl tied it up at three, Mathew Barzal reminded everyone that even with 1.5 eyes he’s still better than most players as he picks up this puck thanks to a good takeaway by Derick Brassard.

Scoring with 30 seconds left on the clock is exactly when you want to score. The Isles go to the dressing room with their tails up high and with 20 minutes to kill it.

Shots! Shots! Shots!

With a 4-3 lead and 20 minutes left, the Islanders should have been in cruise control for the final frame. But there’s just something about the Flyers that gets the worst out of the Isles.

Throughout most of the period, the Isles controlled the play. They’d end the period with a +10 shot differential in the third but Scott Laughton still found twine on a breakaway.

In the dying minutes of the period, the Isles were given a power play and the puck ends up on Eberle’s stick but he fires it off the side netting. Through 60, Eberle had four shots and not one of them was a good one.

Eberle hasn’t been the same player we know he is in this series. Four assists in five games in this series is nothing to get mad about, but with no goals and 19 shots on net in this series, this is not the Jordan Eberle we’ve come to know.

For some reason, this game was headed to overtime even though the Isles held a +25 shot differential through 60 minutes.

Overtime

A broken stick. After 35 minutes of overtime, a broken stick decided this game.

Scott Mayfield breaks his stick at the offensive blue line and the play goes back the other way and Ivan Provorov ends it.

That’s three wins for the Flyers in overtime in this series. Three.

The Islanders had plenty of chances in overtime but they just couldn’t bury one. After tossing 42 shots at Carter Hart through three periods, the Islanders only managed ten in 35 minutes. Why the change of tactic?

Game seven is Saturday at 7:30 PM.

Three Winners

Carter Hart: 49 saves, 0.925SV%
Ivan Provorov: 1 2OT GWG, 1A
Mathew Barzal: 1G, 1A

Three Losers

Jordan Eberle: 5SOG, -1
Semyon Varlamov: 5GA, 26 saves, 0.839SV%
Scott Mayfield’s stick

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