The Flyers gained a bounce back win behind the strength of a pair of Oskar Lindblom tallies. Even with a strong possession advantage, a shaky third period turned a game that was solidly in hand into a dog fight.
CF:10 CA:8 CF%: 55.56%
The Flyers played the Islanders to a statistical draw in the first period, gaining a slight edge in 5 V. 5 possession, while also enjoying a four-minute powerplay courtesy of a high-sticking double minor.
Even with a slight possession advantage, the Islanders looked to be the more dangerous team, ringing two shots off the post in the period. While these chances are of some concern, the chances were not uniquely excellent, in fact they were rather typical and a far cry from the pond hockey exhibition the Rangers put on the night previous.
CF:24 CA:9 CF%: 72.73%
The Flyers were able to dominate possession in what may have been the best played second period of the year. The line changes were clean with players hustling to get on and off the ice, the forwards were back checking and the offense finally clicked.
The Flyers used several tricks in their offensive bag, a deflection, a rebound and a one timer on the rush. What was more impressive was the effort and attention paid to the defensive end by the forwards. The forwards were able to smother the Islanders and completely negated their creativity on the rush.
This was a period of redemption in light of the seven goals the Flyers allowed on the previous night’s second period. If they had played with this kind of intensity against the Rangers, the outcome would have been much different.
CF:12 CA:15 CF% 44.44%
With a 3-0 lead to start the period, the sting of the Rangers beat down was starting to fade as the Flyers tore off the scab and poured lemon juice on the wound. Hart let in a couple of sketchy goals, where he did not have his angles perfect. The third goal was of the sleepy Flyer vintage, another cross ice pass to a wide open player on the door step. Hart had no chance.
PHI D: Erik Gustafsson CF:12 CA:1 CF%: 92.31 %
This was the version of Gustafsson GM Chuck Fletcher was thinking of when he signed him. Gustafsson managed to keep play clean in his own end for the first time in weeks, and it made a huge difference on his numbers and the security of the Flyers’ defensive zone
NYI LW Matt Martin CF: 0 CF:9 CF%: 0%
It was a tough night for Martin, who did not see a single Islander scoring chance when he was on the ice. Martin was a thorn in the side of the Flyers during last summer’s playoff, but the Flyers made sure he would not be a factor tonight
CF:46 CA:32 CF% 58.97%
The Flyers won a game that they needed to win and played great hockey, for about 45 minutes. But the team let the Islanders off the mat allowing them to tie the game, and at the same time giving the fan base indigestion.
The possession number show a game that was tilted to the Flyers advantage in the second period, and then coasting to an easy victory. But the game was anything but easy, as they faltered late, and a solid effort in puck position was undone by two bad plays.
The Flyers were able to throttle a very good Islanders’ team when they played a focused and smart game. When the team went into a defensive shell, things started to fall apart. In a time where the defense is suspect and the goalies unsettled, the more time spent out of the defensive zone the better.
All things consider this was a badly needed win against the division leader and it should be something that can be built upon.