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Islanders 4, Flyers 3: Parise’s late game-winner sends Philly to franchise-record 13th straight loss

Meanwhile, the Islanders are now 10-4-1 in their last 15 games.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
It was a big night for Parise.
Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The New York Islanders helped the Philadelphia Flyers enter the record books in two different ways this evening. First, when the puck dropped, Keith Yandle broke Doug Jarvis’s 35-year-old record for consecutive games played with 965.

Then, when the final horn sounded, the Islanders had sent the Flyers to their 13th consecutive loss, a new Philadelphia franchise record. So, some good and some bad for the Flyers.

As for the Islanders, they earned their third win over the Flyers in nine days and reached sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. They did so in dominant fashion, too. Philadelphia played last night, so that may have something to do with it, but two points are two points.

Lineup Notes

For the first time in a long time—I think for the first time since Barry Trotz put them with Jordan Eberle late in 2018-19—Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal did not skate together on a line in a game in which they both dressed. Trotz had mentioned that it hadn’t been working lately.

Instead, Barzal skated with his long-time friend, Anthony Beauvillier. Also, Oliver Wahlstrom returned to the lineup, and Kieffer Bellows stayed, too. Austin Czarnik got the night off. Ilya Sorokin started in goal for the Isles while Martin Jones did the same for Philly.

[Game Sum | Event Sum | NHL Gamecenter | Natural Stat Trick | HockeyViz]

First Period: Unfortunate Start Erased

Off the opening face-off, the Identity Line created an immediate chance. Matt Martin found himself alone in the slot with the puck, but he missed the net by a mile. And then, on the Flyers’ first chance, Claude Giroux threw the puck from the corner and shocked Sorokin, putting it off the inside of his far pad.

The Islanders continued to look a step off to start, but they were gifted a power play when Zack MacEwen—now wearing a fishbowl after his fight last week with Zdeno Chara—got whistled for goalie interference after colliding with Sorokin behind the net; in reality, Sorokin sort of tripped up MacEwen. The Isles did not exactly put a lot of fear into the Flyers’ penalty kill, though. They had one chance off the opening draw, and another chance on which Lee whiffed, but that was it. That being said, it very quickly became clear which team played last night and which team did not.

Then the Flyers took a two-goal lead. Cam Atkinson beat out Andy Greene in the corner and flung the puck into the offensive zone. Justin Braun picked it up and fired, and ticked off Greene’s skate to pass Sorokin.

But the Islanders got one right back less than a minute later. The third line won the face-off and worked the puck around the circle before Noah Dobson flicked the puck on goal. Wahlstrom served as the screen, and Dobson’s shot fluttered past Jones.

Before the period ended, Trotz reunited Lee and Barzal to great success and a tie game. Barzal blew past MacEwen to set up on an odd-man rush and then sent a gorgeous cross-ice pass to Lee. Lee roofed it. 2-2, wiping away the unlucky start that the Isles had, to the intermission.

Second Period: Taking the Lead

The Islanders continued to keep up the pressure and drew another MacEwen penalty, this time for delay of game. The Islanders maintained possession but couldn’t beat Jones with the first unit. Four of the five players on that unit changed midway through; Barzal, of course, did not change, and it paid off.

The Isles patiently worked the puck around until Zach Parise, to the left of the crease, took a pass from the point and in one fluid motion got the puck right to Barzal. Barzal picked his corner to give the Islanders their first lead of the night, while Jones got roasted by his long-time San Jose Sharks beat writer, Kevin Kurz, now the Islanders beat writer for The Athletic.

Later, on the same play, Braun boarded Parise while Wahlstrom took a high-stick. Braun received a minor penalty while Wahlstrom’s attacker did not get called because it was on a follow-through. Wahlstrom was bleeding pretty badly from his lip and might have chipped a tooth, but he was on the ice to start the power play when the game returned from a commercial break.

The Islanders had some chances on that power play but failed to convert. It was more notable, however, for Parise taking a wicked Dobson point shot off of his helmet. The officials whistled the play dead as Parise went down, but he got up quickly and mouthed, “I’m alright,” thankfully. He stayed in the game, slapping his helmet on the bench and thanking it when the trainers spoke to him.

Wahlstrom had a slow-moving breakaway chance that wouldn’t go late in the third, Casey Cizikas decked Braun in the corner in the dying seconds of the period, and Mayfield (cross-checking) and Travis Konecny (unsportsmanlike conduct) received matching minors after the horn sounded as the Islanders entered the second intermission with a one-goal lead and a 23-12 shot-on-goal advantage.

Third Period: Retaking the Lead

The period began four-on-four with Mayfield and Konecny in the box. Sorokin made a shaky save on Gerry Mayhew while on the four-on-four, and right as Butch Goring commented on Sorokin’s unsteady play, he conceded a goal. Mayhew picked up the rebound from the shaky save and ripped it over Sorokin. The game was tied again early in the third, 3-3.

The goal gave the Flyers some juice, and they drew a hooking penalty on Martin. It was Philadelphia’s first power play in a few games, and it looked like it. They spent the first half of it in their own zone and the second half of it trying to enter the offensive zone. If only Cal Clutterbuck had seen Cizikas when he snagged the puck in the neutral zone—Cizikas would have had a breakaway.

If the Flyers gained momentum after Mayhew’s goal, they lost it after that power play; either that or the Islanders stole the momentum. In any event, the Islanders retook control of the game after a slightly sleepy start to the third period and later drew another delay of game penalty for throwing the puck over the glass. This time, it was Morgan Frost.

The Islanders controlled the puck decently on the power play but didn’t get enough pucks on the net. They nearly gave up a shorthanded goal as the power play ended before Beauviller worked to retrieve the puck.

He, Brock Nelson, and Parise went back the other way on a three-on-two. As they traversed the blue line, Nelson from the left went behind his back to hit Beauvillier in the center. Beauvillier quickly no-looked it to Parise. And Parise snapped the puck immediately, also picking his corner past Jones. The Islanders restored their one-goal lead for a second time.

With Parise heating up and Wahlstrom playing well, Trotz kept rolling out Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s line. They kept up the pressure going into the last commercial break. After that break, Trotz went with his shutdown guys as the Flyers pulled Jones.

Philadelphia failed to generate many chances toward the net, and the Islanders blocked shots and cleared the zone well without icing it. They also killed about 20 seconds in the corner, reminiscent of how they closed out Games 4 and 6 against the Boston Bruins last June. In that battle, Oskar Lindblom took an inadvertent high-stick from Chara, and Giroux took an uncalled cross-check from Cizikas, but the game ended in a regulation Islanders win.

Notes and Thoughts

  • Parise seems to be heating up, which is a good thing. He has goals in back-to-back games, and he was named the no. 1 star for getting the game-winner. Good for him. He seems happy, too. And I’m glad he wasn’t hurt by Dobson’s shot off his noggin.
  • Barzal has been pretty hot lately, too.
  • Sorokin seemed off all night, starting with that weird first goal for Giroux. He didn’t have to be too ‘on’ all night, at least, because the Flyers are moribund. But not his best work.
  • Speaking of which, man, that’s 13 straight games lost by the Flyers, a new franchise record for futility. It is crazy to see what has happened since the Isles knocked out the no. 1 seed Flyers in the weird bubble playoffs.
  • Hats off again to Keith Yandle, though. 965 games in a row without a scratch (dating back to his time with the then-Phoenix Coyotes in 2009) are no small feat, especially considering part of that was played through a pandemic
  • Back to the Isles: It’s nice that they beat up on the Flyers three times over the past week—points are points, and the Isles need these points—but I am excited to see if the Islanders can finally get their game together against a playoff opponent. To wit...

Up Next

The Islanders will welcome the Los Angeles Kings to UBS Arena at Belmont Park on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. That game will be broadcast not on the MSG family of networks, but ESPN+ and Hulu. Plan and/or gripe accordingly.