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POSTGAME 5: Point Missing

Late rally not enough as Isles score in final minute to take 5-3 win over Flyers in Brooklyn

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
A three-goal comeback by Philadelphia went for naught late in the game, as the Islanders pulled out a 5-3 victory in the final minute of the third period after the Flyers had forged a 3-3 tie.

Josh Bailey (12th) Matt Martin (5th) and Jordan Eberle (10th) built a 3-0 lead for New York in the first period, while Mathew Barzal had three assists, including one on the game-winner. Travis Konecny (19th) and Robert Hägg (2nd) narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the middle frame. 

In the third period, Sean Couturier (16th) pulled the Flyers even with 1:32 left but Ryan Pulock restored the lead at 19:19. Brian Elliott stopped 20 of 24 shots. Semyon Varlamov earned the win with 35 saves.

Three Stars:
1st: Mathew Barzal (3a)
2nd: Ryan Pulock (1g)
3rd: Leo Komarov (1g-1a)

TURNING POINT
After the Flyers battled all the way back to tie the game at 3-3, overtime seemed inevitable. Unfortunately, the Kevin Hayes line and defense pairing of Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers got pinned in by the Barzal line and chased the puck around the zone. Finally, Pulock hammered a point shot upstairs for the winning goal.

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) "Disappointing" is the operative word for the Flyers' first period performance: Lapses in attention to detail, poor risk-reward decision making, getting outworked in the defensive zone and being mostly unable to generate extended offensive zone possession all came into play.

2) There were breakdowns on all three New York goals: On the Bailey goal, three Flyers went to the same corner, Ivan Provorov turned the puck over up the wall and Tyler Pitlick accidentally deflected the shot. On the Martin goal, Phil Myers pinched in deep and Travis Sanheim gambled and lost on a puck battle on the boards, leaving Scott Laughton as the lone defender back on a 2-on-1. On the third goal, Barzal turned the Flyers inside out and Eberle potted a juicy rebound. 

3) The second period was a 180-degree swing for the Flyers. They generated much better pace and hemmed New York in their own end for lengthy segments of the frame. Even before the Flyers got on the board, they were on the brink of scoring several times.

4) Konecny received a backhanded saucer pass from JVR and, using Leo Komarov as a screen, beat Varlamov to make it a 3-1 game at 9:34. The Flyers drew within a goal at 11:56. Claude Giroux fired low, looking for a rebound, and got it. The puck went to Hägg, who stashed it home.

5) The Flyers had back-to-back power play opportunities to tie the game in the third period. Unfortunately, neither power play was successful. Konecny came an inch or less from tying the game, tipping the puck off the inside of the post. After a timeout, the Flyers pulled Elliott for an extra attacker. With 1:32 left, Couturier played a Giroux carom off the end boards and jammed it home before he was knocked to the ice.Video: PHI@NYI: Couturier ties score for Flyers late in 3rd

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* James van Riemsdyk picked up an assist on the first Flyers goal giving him points in three straight (2g-2a) and 11 points (4g-7a) in his last 12 games.

* Claude Giroux had two assists giving him six points in his last three games (2g-4a).

* Scott Laughton posted two assists in tonight's game - his third multi-point game of the year... He also has points in five of his last seven games, recording six points (3g-3a).

* A Flyers defenseman has now scored in back-to-back games and now have 38 goals on the season, one behind the NY Rangers for most goals by defensemen this year.

* Ivan Provorov played 25:22, which was more than four minutes ahead of any other Flyer on the roster.

* The Flyers travel to the Sunshine State for a two-game set in Florida. First up are the Panthers on Thursday night. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic.

THEY SAID IT

Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to NYIVideo: Hear from Konecny, Couturier and Elliott after loss

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