The New York Islanders are quickly doing their absolute best to prove all of their doubters wrong. With a win in game four, the Islanders have put an absolute stranglehold on their second round series and the Philadelphia Flyers now have their backs against the proverbial wall. With a now 3-1 series lead intact, the Islanders will want to make sure this series ends in five while the Flyers are hoping to push this series to an eventual game seven and come back from the deficit.
While a scoreless first period would up the tension tenfold, the deadlock was finally broken about seven minutes into the second period when Brock Nelson would score to put the Islanders up 1-0. Josh Bailey would capitalize on a Flyers turnover and would send a slick cross ice feed over to Nelson who went top shelf on Brian Elliott to give the Islanders the ever important first goal of the game. The Islanders play their best when they have the lead in games and now that they had it, the Flyers would have a tough time getting back in. About 15 minutes into the second though, the Flyers would find some life.
Justin Braun rifled a shot at the net that had eyes for Sean Couturier’s stick and deflected past Thomas Greiss to tie the game at one. The Flyers had injected some life into their group and really pressed to find the goal that would put them ahead but the rest of the second period came and went without a goal by either team. The third was shaping up to be the most important period of the series so far.
The third was intense with both teams trading chances but at around the seven minute mark, marquee trade deadline acquisition Jean-Gabriel Pageau would strike for the Islanders and grab his seventh goal of the postseason. Pageau would receive a quick feed in the neutral zone from Isles’ defenseman Scott Mayfield and score after his shot found a way to roll past Elliott for a 2-1 lead in the game. The Isles again grabbed the lead and they would not relinquish it. Later in the third, the Islanders would strike again as Brock Nelson would grab his second of the game and fifth of the postseason.
Nelson and Bailey would again create some magic as they would link up for a slick give-and-go that would result in a 3-1 Islanders lead a little over midway into the third period. Ivan Provorov would score late but it wouldn’t be enough and the Isles again used their patented suffocating defensive style of hockey to win the game. Game five is Tuesday at 7 PM EST.
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