If you were too tired to really focus on this game after a big Thanksgiving feast, you wouldn’t be alone, as the New York Islanders started this game against the Philadelphia Flyers poorly even though they were leading at the end of the first. They were punished in the second, as the Flyers put up four goals, but the Islanders were able to rally for the overtime win, earning all four points in this home-and-home.
The first period started off promising, with Wayne Simmonds taking a high-sticking penalty, sending the Isles to the power play. However, there weren’t many good scoring opportunities off the man advantage, and the period fell into a lull.
Thomas Greiss made some good saves to bail out the Islanders’ poor defensive play, and was put under pressure after Dennis Seidenberg held Nolan Patrick on a breakaway, leading to a penalty shot call. Fortunately, Patrick shot the puck wide, and the game remained scoreless.
Toward the end of the period, Scott Mayfield took a big shot from the blue line, Andrew Ladd picked up the rebound, and sent it towards Mathew Barzal, where the puck deflected in off of Barzal’s knee to close the period, 1-0 Islanders.
This period was a train wreck from the start, with Claude Giroux tying the game less than four minutes in. Shortly after Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot that went off the post, and Wayne Simmonds put the rebound past Greiss to give the Flyers the lead.
The Islanders came back, with Cal Clutterbuck deflecting a Seidenberg shot to tie the game up again. It then looked like the Islanders would be getting an extremely fluky goal, as Johnny Boychuk’s neutral zone dump-in actually beat Brian Elliott, but it was on a delayed offsides, so no goal.
Then, Gostisbehere scored to put the Flyers up 3-2, taking advantage of the Islanders in the middle of a shift change. Sean Couturier then scored to make it 4-2, after Greiss flubbed on playing the puck behind the net and was unable to get back in front in time to make a save.
A lot of penalties to start the third, as Andrew Ladd and Travis Konecny both took minors for roughing, and then Voracek took one for hooking. Then, Greiss was called on to make a short handed save on Konecny and the Islanders went the other way, with Jordan Eberle converting on the power play.
Andrew Ladd then scored to tie the game off a great feed from behind the net from Eberle.
A back and forth OT ended with a John Tavares/Josh Ho-Sang/Nick Leddy combo, where Ho-Sang cycled through the zone and drew two defenders to find Nick Leddy alone, who scored the game winner. It was the kind of play that highlighted Ho-Sang’s offensive prowess once again after a rough stretch of games.
Next, the Islanders travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators. The Senators also have a back to back, currently facing off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ottawa is 8-6-6 so far into the season, and 5th in the division.