The Flyers, as they have far too often of late, dug themselves a deep hole and were forced to spend the night chasing the game. Things continued to roll downhill in the third period. The result was an ugly 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday evening.
J.G. Pageau (PPG, 10th goal of the season) and Jordan Eberle (10th) scored goals spaced just 1:50 apart to give the Islanders an early 2-0 lead. Casey Cizikas (5th) converted a Flyers turnover into a goal to make it 3-0 at 10:03 of the first period and then scored again (6th) at 15:25 on a lost coverage. Joel Farabee (13th) cut the deficit to 4-1 late in the period.
After a scoreless second period, another Flyers giveaway became an Anthony Beauvillier goal (3rd) midway through the period.
Carter Hart stopped 22 of 28 shots in a losing cause. Ilya Sorokin denied 23 of 24 shots.
Sean Couturier took part in the pregame warmups but was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury. Michael Raffl, still nursing a hand injury but well enough to play, dressed in his place.
The Flyers could ill-afford to fall behind early but did just that, and continued to dig the hole deeper. Costly turnovers were over-abundant.
1) The Pageau power play came about because of partially blocked shot by Oskar Lindblom that took an Islanders-favorable bounce directly to the goal scorer. The Eberle goal was scored on a scramble around the net in which the Islanders outworked the Flyers' defenders. The Cizikas goal came off a Nate Prosser turnover at the defensive blueline and a low shot from the left dot that beat an off-angle Hart low to the glove side. On Cizikas' second goal,defenseman Erik Gustafsson badly missed his coverage assignment.
2) Looking to give his team a spark of any kind, Oskar Lindblom had his first-ever NHL fight, dropping the gloves with Oliver Wahlstrom at 15:35. The Flyers got a goal back a little over two minutes later, as Scott Laughton out-battled Adm Pelech for a puck in the neutral zone and Farabee beat Sorokin to the far (low blocker) side at 17:52..
3) The Flyers had two power play opportunities in the second period with an opportunity to get back within 4-2. Neither power play got much going, with the Flyers losing puck battles and struggling to get the puck or bodies to the scoring areas.
4) A couple of good shifts by the Lindblom-Giroux-Konecny line highlighted the second period for the Flyers but there was not much of a sustained push against the Islanders' tight checking. Shots were 11-7 Flyers (attempts were a 50-50 split) but the Flyers were on the wrong end of scoring chances (6-4 overall, 3-1 HD). Hart made a couple tough saves including a point-blank save on Cal Cluttterbuck off a giveaway.
5) The Flyers continued to struggle to generate chances in the third period. When they finally got one, Sorokin made a tough save on Giroux from the slot. A Prosser giveaway to Beauvillier in the slot was promptly turned into a 5th Islanders goal at 9:45. At 15:46, it was Hart's turnover to give a puck away directly into the slot. Bailey took the puck right on his stick and deposited the gift into a gaping net.