Brocktober is apparently not a very popular holiday in Philadelphia after the Flyers had to endure it in tonight’s matchup.
The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers met each other Sunday night as part of consecutive games for the first time in the series after the Islanders defeated the Flyers the night before with a 3-1 victory.
In the Game 4 matchup, the Islanders and Flyers made one major change: their goaltenders. For the Islanders, Thomas Greiss, who came in Game 2 after Semyon Varlamov gave up 2 goals in Game 2, got his first playoff start this season, and Brian Elliott for the Flyers got his second start of the postseason after his last start was against the Washington Capitals in the Round-Robin games and his last playing time against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 2 of Round 1.
To start the game, one of the key factors for the Islanders was to prevent a rough start after it has been that way with Philadelphia scoring first in the last 2 games. And in the first period, the Islanders did not allow a single goal that came towards Greiss’s way, even though they did not get a goal themselves as the Islanders outshot the Flyers on goal 18-7 in the first period.
In the second period, the Flyers outshot the Islanders on goal 17-3. However, one of three shots the Islanders went behind Elliott’s back thanks to Brock Nelson’s 4th goal of the postseason. Almost 10 minutes later, Sean Couturier deflected Justin Bruan’s shot that sneaked past Greiss to tie the game for the rest of the second period.
Both teams found themselves in a nearly competitive third period where 26 combined shots on goal were made with the Flyers on a slight 2-SOG advantage. However, Jean-Gabriel Pageau made a wrist shot 7:18 into the period to put the Islanders back and front and give him his 7th postseason goal. 4 minutes later, Brock Nelson plays a deflected shot by Elliott into the net for his 5th postseason goal and 2nd of the night to extend the Islanders ahead for good.
Once again down 3-1 with a few minutes left, the Flyers played the empty net game with a man-up once more. This time, the Flyers find a goal in desperation time thanks to Ian Provorov’s 2nd goal of the postseason to pull the Flyers to within one. Unfazed, the Islanders kept their stellar defense going in the last minute and wasted the clock by playing around with the puck to end the game and extend their series lead.
With a Game 4 victory and 3-1 series lead, the Islanders have put the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers on the verge of elimination with being one win away from their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 1993. On another historic note, the Islanders have not won this many games in the second round since they last won the second round in the same year.
With the decision for the Islanders to start Thomas Greiss, he faced 38 shots on goal and managed to save 36 of them, giving him his 6th career postseason win. For the Flyers’ Brian Elliott, in his second postseason start this season, Elliot faced 33 shots on goal against him and saved 30 of them.
The Islanders will look to clinch the second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 on Tuesday night to start the month of September at 7 pm.