Mon, 17 May 2021

Flyers, Islanders seeking bounce-back win

Field Level Media
18 Apr 2021, 20:55 GMT+10

The New York Islanders aim to snap a four-game losing road skid on Sunday night when they complete a three-game trek against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Islanders began the road trip by sustaining consecutive three-goal defeats to the Boston Bruins.

New York coach Barry Trotz, who labeled Thursday's 4-1 defeat as an "unacceptable" performance, had a much more optimistic take on Friday's effort, a 3-0 setback.

"There was a lot of positives to take out of this game, we were way better," Trotz said. "We were real strong (to start), it was a good start. Systematically, we were doing things correct -- they were doing things correct as well. It was a playoff type of pace and physicality."

The Islanders' season series against the Flyers also has had a playoff-type feel, with six of the seven games being decided by just one goal. Three of New York's four wins have resulted after regulation, while Philadelphia recorded two of its three victories in overtime.

Semyon Varlamov is in line to get the start on Sunday should the Islanders continue their method of alternating goaltenders. Varlamov sports a 7-3-2 record in 13 career encounters with the Flyers, however he has yielded seven goals on 48 shots in losing both contests to them this season.

New York is looking to squeeze more out of its power play. The Islanders answered an 0-for-3 performance on Thursday by misfiring on all five opportunities with the man advantage the following night.

Philadelphia has been routinely skewered by other team's power plays this season, and that continued on Saturday afternoon against Washington. Three-time Hart Trophy recipient Alex Ovechkin scored twice with the man advantage as the Capitals spoiled Alex Lyon's first start of the season with a 6-3 win over the Flyers.

"We put Alex in a real tough spot," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said of Lyon, who was informed of the start at 11 a.m. ET. "We didn't play real well in front of him. Obviously, they're a real good team and capable of making a lot of plays. We spent far too much time in our zone defending."

Lyon was ushered into net with the Flyers facing a back-to-back set. Vigneault did not address if Brian Elliott would get the nod on Sunday or Carter Hart, who aggravated a lower-body injury in Philadelphia's 2-1 shootout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

James van Riemsdyk scored in the second period on Saturday to mark his first goal since March 15.

While relieved to end his individual drought, van Riemsdyk admitted he's frustrated that the Flyers can's get back on track.

"This year just consistency-wise, as far as building off things, we've seemed out of sync I feel like a lot of times," van Riemsdyk said. "I don't have any real answers as to why."

Captain Claude Giroux had two assists on Saturday to move within one point of Brian Propp (849) for third place in Flyers history. Giroux has eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven meetings with the Islanders this season.

--Field Level Media

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