clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (OT): Greiss saves, Bailey scores on the rebound

The Islanders win thanks to great saves from Greiss and a wonder assist from Tavares in OT

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
“I better get very large bird for this.”
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Thomas Greiss kept the Islanders in the game and John Tavares pulled off a wonder move to set up Josh Bailey’s overtime goal in a sloppy 4-3 New York Islanders over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

It was another three-point night for Bailey, who had primary assists on the first two Islanders goals. But none of that would have mattered without 35 saves from Greiss, who bailed out a leaky Islanders defensive effort on numerous occasions in all three regulation periods.

Though the Isles outshot the Flyers 39-38 and out-attempted them 72-57, the quality of chances allowed was alarming and could have easily cost them one or both points.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | Natural Stat Trick | Corsica | HockeyViz]

First Period: Not how you start

Going into the game, the Flyers had lost last night at home and you expected a rebound showing from them. The Isles had been off since Sunday and you wondered if it would take a while to get their game in gear.

Answers to those wonders came quickly.

The Isles started terribly, and it was but for the grace of Greiss that they didn’t fall behind 3-0 in the first. The German had to make a miraculous, review-requiring toe save on the line in the opening minute that you might think would wake up the Isles.

They had done another third-pairing swap for this game, but it was their top blueline pairing that was getting victimized for golden chances through much of this game. Greiss bailed them out on breakaways and odd-man rushes through much of the first period but was beaten by Taylor Leier on a rebould carom that opened scoring at 6:02.

Thankfully Greiss held the fort long enough for the Islanders to reach the first intermission tied, 1-1. The equalizer came on the power play, with Mathew Barzal picking a corner after a smart backhanded cross-slot feed from Josh Bailey. By the end the Islanders outshot the Flyers 16-12 in the period, but the high-grade scoring chances conceded were glaring.

Second Period: Back to normal, except messy

And those scoring chances against continued. The Isles were better overall in a back-and-forth second period, but they had to start from behind as Michael Raffl scored on a breakaway just 46 seconds into the period.

Raffl’s breakaway came about during a defensive change, with Nick Leddy sliding over to the left side of the ice without realizing or remembering that his normal right-side partner Johnny Boychuk had already changed for Calvin de Haan. Off Raffl went, uncontested, and though Greiss waited out his backhand deke, it went off the post, off Greiss’ skate, and over the line.

But Flyers penalty troubles came to the rescue. The Isles’ top unit had good pressure for the first half of a 5-on-4 before Samuel Morin lifted his backhand clear up, over the whole neutral zone and out of play for a delay of game penalty. The top unit stayed and made quick work of it, Josh Bailey spotting a hole to feed Boychuk for a half-timer into the postage stamp corner to tie the game at 2-2.

It looked like things had righted themselves at that point and the Islanders would take control. Indeed, Joshua Ho-Sang gave them the lead for the first time with a sweet deflection at butterfly goalie’s-eye height off an Adam Pelech point shot. This one saw quick review from Toronto, but it was pretty clear Ho-Sang’s stick was below the bar.

Alas. Ho-Sang’s goal came at 11:05 and the Flyers had tied it up within three minutes. Jakub Voracek converted on some great power play passing by the Flyers to make it 3-3, a score that stood going into the third period.

Third Period: Make it stop

The third period was choppy, messy, exchanges of sloppy chances. By the 10-minute mark the teams were already thinking about safe dumps and chips to get to overtime. One long-range bouncer was horrifying, bouncing in the low slot and then up high to require a very alert shoulder save from Greiss.

The refs were letting more and more curious ‘90s-style clutching go, drawing a complain from Andrew Ladd about how much interference was being let go.

And under a minute later, the refs showed they heard Ladd’s complaint...and called Jason Chimera for interference off a faceoff. To me it looked like Chimera was just keeping his position as he drove across the faceoff circle following a draw won by Casey Cizikas, but even Butch Goring thought it met the modern standard for interference.

And to be fair, it was only the second call of the night against the Islanders — both against Chimera, who is having a horrible season — so that’s hockey. The Isles bent, but Greiss wouldn’t break, making four saves on the power play that finished with under four minutes remaining in regulation.

The Flyers dominated five-on-five play for the remaining minutes, including an absolutely horrifying shift against the Isles fourth line that exposed Jason Chimera, once again, as Most Deserving Scratch candidate.

OT: ‘Aww sick, that’s Johnny, that what he do’

Former Islander Frans Nielsen’s quote about John Tavares applies here. The Isles opened overtime with the trio of Tavares, Bailey and Nick Leddy. After resetting in their own zone, Bailey rushed, gained the Flyers’ zone, and handed off to Tavares to go to work.

Tavares first tried his inside-outside cut to try to get a quick shot off from the faceoff circle, but Sean Couturier would have none of that. Blocking the attempt and then (cross)checking Tavares to his knees from behind, it looked like Couturier would succeed in rubbing the captain out and spoiling his first shift. Couturier worked him to his knees again in the corner, then pinned him.

But Tavares emerged free. One-handed, he slipped the puck back from one side of Couturier back up the boards to himself, spun, and found Bailey all alone in the low slot.

Brian Elliott stopped Bailey’s first shot, but the rebound was there and converted perfectly.

(See all the MSG angles and replays in full def here.)

Two points to the Isles (and a non-shootout win), the hard way.

Weight’s Thoughts

Stan Fischler: “How, uh, close was this game to your gameplan?”

Weight: “And Happy Thanksgiving to you, Stan.” {laughs}

“No, I liked our game (after the first eight minutes). We have a few things to straighten out, but I liked our game.”

Also: For those Ho-Sang conspiracists, Weight said Ho-Sang has been “excellent” since he came back.

Up Next

After Thanksgiving, they’ll try to do it again Friday in Philadelphia. Tonight’s win moves the Islanders up into third in the tight Metropolitan Division. The OT loss keeps the Flyers — winners of just two of their last 10 — in last but only five point behind the Isles.


It’s (U.S.) Thanksgiving on Thursday. That usually means no hockey but lots of football in the United States, if memory serves from back when I paid attention to other sports.

Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting us site managers and moderators, and thanks for helping make this a (usually) fun place to talk Islanders hockey. Have a great holiday if you get it, and pleasant time with family if you can have that too.