In a must-win game on Monday night, the New York Islanders took home two points, but gave one back to the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-3 OT win at Wells Fargo Center.

Brock Nelson scored the OT winner at the 1:24 mark of the extra frame, securing the extra point for the Islanders after Morgan Frost tied the score for Philadelphia with 9.6 seconds to play in the third period.

An overtime win was not the best case scenario for the Islanders (79 points) who are four points back of the Flyers (83 points). They have two games in hand over Philadelphia, but the Flyers hold the first tiebreaker, so the Islanders will need to surpass them in the standings, but upward momentum was a better alternative than losing ground in a tight playoff chase.

“We might not be happy to give them one point today, but we're probably going to be happy maybe down the road to have those two points,” Head Coach Patrick Roy said.

Matt Martin, Bo Horvat and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders in regulation, while Noah Cates and Travis Sanheim also scored for the Flyers.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 of 33 in the win, as the veteran started his third-consecutive game for the first time in two years. Samuel Ersson started the game and stopped four of six before being replaced by Ivan Fedotov, who stopped 19 of 21 in his NHL debut.

Adding to the standings implications was the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, keeping the Red Wings (82 points) three points up on the Isles, though New York has a game in hand. The Washington Capitals (82 points) currently occupy the second wild card spot.

Recap: Islanders at Flyers 4.1.24


Matt Martin described the Flyers’ last second goal as a “gut punch” on Monday night, as Philadelphia wrestled an all-important point back with 9.6 seconds to play.

Jamie Drysdale, who was returning after a 16-game absence, sent a puck into traffic from the blue with Frost getting the initial tip on a shot before stuffing home the rebound. The goal came after some key keep-ins by the Flyers, as well as an Owen Tippet save on a Kyle Palmieri chance at an empty net.

It rattled the Islanders, but they regrouped as the game went to overtime.

“No one was happy when that one went in because we knew exactly what it meant,” Roy said. “At the same time, we just kept the focus and we scored a big one.”

The Islanders capitalized in the extra frame, as Palmieri pounced on a Flyers turnover and quickly fed Nelson in the slot, who snapped a 10-game goal drought when he quickly fired off a one-timer. Nelson’s goal was his 30th of the season, making him the first Islander since Matt Moulson to score 30 goals in three-straight seasons.

Nelson’s goal capped off a back-and-forth game between the teams that saw big momentum swings. The Isles outshot the Flyers 17-3 in the second period, but the Flyers responded with a push in the third, outshooting the Isles 19-3.

“We would have liked to do it in regulation for sure, but to get the extra point is still something,” Nelson said. “Tomorrow night, we need to follow it up.”

NYI@PHI: Nelson scores goal against Ivan Fedotov


Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat had been split up for the better part of the past eight games, but when Roy was looking for an offensive spark, he reunited his dynamic forwards.

“It was a gut feeling,” Roy said. “I felt like it was time to do it. When they scored that first one I think we needed a bit of a spark and I was hoping that would do it for us.”

Barzal and Horvat immediately rewarded their coach’s gut reaction by lightning the lamp to put the Isles up 2-1, with Barzal carrying the puck into the zone, feeding a streaking Horvat and Horvat sniping high on Samuel Ersson, who the Isles chased from the game.

The goal was Horvat’s 30th of the season and also accounted for the 500th point of his career.

With Horvat joining Barzal and Casey Cizikas, Hudson Fasching joined JG Pageau and Lee.

Barzal finished the game with a team-high five shots, seven attempts, two hits, three giveaways one takeaway and two blocked shots.


Alex Romanov quietly had an impactful game for the Islanders on Monday night.

The defenseman finished with an assist on Lee’s goal – a deflection at 17:54 of the second period – and four shots.

He came up with a key clear on the Islanders first penalty kill in the second period, fishing a loose puck out of the crease. According to Natural Stat Trick, Romanov was on the ice for four high-danger chances for and only three against at five-on-five. 


The Islanders wrap up a back-to-back set on Tuesday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at UBS Arena. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

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