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game recap

Islanders top Flyers in Game 3 of Eastern Second Round, take series lead

Varlamov makes 26 saves, Komarov breaks tie late in second for New York

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

Komarov strikes in front

PHI@NYI, Gm3: Komarov scores on relentless forecheck

R2, Gm3: After the Islanders force a turnover, Leo Komarov kicks a pass to his stick and puts the puck home, taking a 2-1 lead late in the 2nd

  • 01:00 •

Leo Komarov broke a tie late in the second period, and the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in Game 3 to take the lead in their Eastern Conference Second Round series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday.

Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves after he was pulled 15:09 into the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 2 on Wednesday, when he allowed three goals on 10 shots. Matt Martin and Anders Lee scored for New York, the No. 6 seed in the East. 

"It was an important game for us and for our team and for me especially after Game 2; I know I didn't play well," Varlamov said. "I gave up three quick goals, but it happens, you know? Nothing goes perfect, especially like in the playoffs, there's a lot of games. You lose today, you win tomorrow. I learned from mistakes, move on.

"I had a good practice yesterday. I kind of like pushed myself at the end of practice, wanted to make sure I felt good today."


[WATCH:All Flyers vs. Islanders highlights]

The game was rescheduled from Thursday after the players on the eight remaining teams decided not to play as a form of protest against systemic racism and police brutality.

Teams that win Game 3 after a Stanley Cup Playoffs series is tied 1-1 are 218-107 (67.1 percent) winning a best-of-7 series, including 3-1 in the first round this season.

Game 4 is in Toronto, the Eastern hub city, on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

Tyler Pitlick scored for Philadelphia, the No. 1 seed in the East. Carter Hart made 26 saves. 

"I thought we came out real well, loved our pace for that first 10, 12 minutes," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I think we were playing the type of game that we wanted to play. Then somehow, we just lost it. We stopped being first on pucks, our players stopped making the plays that we needed to make with the puck. They slowly but surely found momentum for the remainder of the first period, and most of the second period they were the much better team." 

Flyers forwards Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux did not score for the 12th straight game this postseason. Konecny led Philadelphia with 24 goals during the regular season; Giroux was fourth with 21.

"Guys are frustrated," Giroux said. "I think we need to take that frustration and bring it as energy and if we do that, we're going to be in a good spot tomorrow." 

Pitlick gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 14:18 of the first period with a wrist shot from the left circle and James van Riemsdyk providing a screen in front of Varlamov. 

Martin tied it 1-1 when he one-timed Mathew Barzal's pass from behind the net at 7:12 of the second period. 

Komarov put the Islanders in front with six seconds remaining in the second when his backhand from between the circles trickled between Hart's skates to make it 2-1. 

"We didn't have a good first period, they got to their game and kind of took it to us for a little while," Martin said. "I think the intermission was good to kind of regroup. Last 10 minutes of the first was decent, but we knew we had to come out with a strong second and we took the game over from there." 

New York outshot Philadelphia 15-6 in the second period. 

"We came out strong, we got that first goal, things were going well," Giroux said. "Second period, it wasn't our best hockey and they were able to get a few goals there." 

Lee gave New York a 3-1 lead on the game's first power play at 3:41 of the third period, a backhand in front of the net to extend his goal streak to three games. 

"We're going to have to be better tomorrow," Vigneault said. "We don't have a lot of time here. We've got to quickly regroup and find a way to win tomorrow." 

Varlamov preserved the two-goal lead with a pad save on Joel Farabee's one-timer from point-blank range at 10:02 of the third. He made 12 saves in the period. 

The Islanders have outscored the Flyers 6-0 in the third period after outscoring the Washington Capitals 7-1 in the third during the first round. 

New York is 3-0 in the game after a loss this postseason. 

"You talk about getting everything thrown at you, everything from this pandemic, this restart, the Phase 1, the Phase 2, the Phase 3, the bubble, the social issues that have been involved, the days off, the changes of schedule, our group is coming in and understood it would be different, and whatever is thrown at us we won't waver," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "I think that mindset has paid dividends for us, even if we get scored on early or don't have a great stretch of a period or two periods, that you just get back on track and identify what we need to do to have success, and they've done a really good job, and that comes from really good focus and really good preparation by them and really good understanding and direction from inside the room." 

NOTES: The Flyers lost for the first time this postseason when scoring first (8-1). ... Flyers forward Scott Laughton returned after being scratched for Game 2. Forward Michael Raffl was scratched. … Islanders forward Derick Brassard, who was scratched the previous three games, replaced forward Ross Johnston

Video: Martin, Lee score as Islanders claim Game 3

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