The New York Islanders can clinch their best-of-seven NHL Eastern Conference semifinals series on Tuesday with a victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5. The Islanders lead the series 3-1 after winning each of the last two games. On Sunday, the Islanders defeated the Flyers 3-2 in Game 4 with 2 goals in the third
The Philadelphia Flyers have their collective backs squarely against the boards. Philadelphia must-win each of the final three games of the series or their season will come to an end. The Flyers used backup goalie Brian Elliott in Game 4 but it did not change the outcome as the Flyers lost for the second consecutive game. Solid goaltending from Islanders backup goalie Thomas Greiss thwarted the Flyers attempts to even the series at 2-2.
Islanders defense frustrates FlyersThe New York Islanders continue to play well in front of the goal. New York has held the Flyers to 7 goals in 4 games including shutting out the Flyers in Game 1 and allowing just one goal in Game 3. Starting goaltender Varlamov is 9-2 in the playoffs with a goals against average of just 1.69 and a save percentage of .935 with two shutouts.
In the attack zone the Islanders have been led by left winger Anthony Beauvillier, who has a team-high seven goals and is tied with Jean-Gabriel Pageau who also has seven goals. Left winger Josh Bailey has the team lead in assists with 11. Balanced scoring is making it hard to defend the Islanders as New York has four players that have scored between 5 and 7 goals during the postseason. The Islanders are also coming up big on the power play scoring 8 goals in 16 power plays.
Flyers offense has disappearedDuring the regular season, the Flyers averaged 3.29 goals-per-game but in the postseason Philadelphia is averaging just 2.23 goals-per-game and during this series against the Islanders is averaging just 1.75 goals per game. Jakub Voracek has four goals to lead the Flyers, while four other players for Philly have scored three goals each. The leader in assists is center Kevin Hayes with 7.
At the other end of the ice, the Flyers during the regular season allowed an average of just 2.77 goals against per game. In this series, the Flyers have allowed the Islanders to score an average of 3.25 goals per game. Not only are the Flyers scoring their own goals but they are allowing more which is not a good recipe for winning. In net, Carter Hart is 7-4 during the postseason and has a goals against average of 2.08 with a .931 save percentage.
- Philadelphia has lost four of the last six
- New York has won eight of the last 10
- The Islanders have won seven of the last eight against Philadelphia