After coming out flat against the Penguins the Flyers look to have a better effort against the Islanders. The Flyers last played the Islanders in the middle of their ten-game losing streak. Twice the Flyers had leads and twice they gave up the leads to lose in overtime.
With the sloppy play over 48 hours behind them the Flyer came out with a boost in energy and the physical play when they took to the ice. The Flyers opened the scoring with Dennis Seidenberg in the penalty box for tripping Jordan Weal. Sean Couturier deflected and slap-pass from Jakub Voracek into the top corner of the net past Thomas Greiss. With the Flyers controlling play through most of the first period the Islanders only managed two shots on goal. on a rare 3-on-1 for the Islanders Cal Clutterbuck took a shot that beat Brian Elliot clean but hit the near side post, the puck bounced all the way to the point where Seidenberg kept the play alive. After receiving the Pass from Seidenberg Nick Leddy drifted a shot at the net that hit Clutterbuck in the shin-pad and bounced by Elliott to tie the game.
The second period turned out to be one of the best periods the Flyers played all season. The Flyers controlled every aspect of the game leading to an offensive outburst of four goals. Michael Raffl opened the scoring at 1:36 into the period by deflecting an Ivan Provorov shot from the point. The Flyers made the score 3-1 when Wayne Simmonds put a rebound in the back of the net that looked like it hit Patrick in front of the net. Ivan Provorov who seemed to have scored the Flyers second goal but later changed to Raffl scored to expand the lead to 4-1 with a wrist shot from the point that went through five players into the back of the net.
The lone hiccup of the period came when the Flyers relaxed and allowed Clutterbuck to put home a rebound for the second of the game narrowing the lead to only two goals. The goal seemed to snap the Flyers out or their momentary lapse in concentration resulting in Sean Couturier intercepted the puck at the blue line and sending an airborne pass in stride with Konecny for the breakaway, after taking two strides Konecny sent a wrist shot to the stick side of Griess making it 5-2.
The Flyers must have remembered the spot they were in during the ten game losing streak when the third started. The whole style of play switched and some strange line combinations started to show up on the ice. At times Nolan Patrick was benched and Couturier was double shifted on the third line. The D pairing of Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov was at times broken up with Andrew MacDonald being placed with Gostisbehere whenever John Tavares was on the ice.
The line juggling and new defense combinations seemed to cause passive play and mistakes in the Flyers zone. The change in play allowed the Islanders to get back in the game with Goals from Taveres on the power play and Ryan Pulock to make it a one-goal game with just over five minutes to go in the period. With the Islanders down a man and the goalie pulled the Flyers put the game away when Provorov deposited the empty neat goal. The goal looked like it should have been Provorov’s hat trick goal but his first goal was awarded to Raffl in the second period.
The Flyers next opponent is the St Louis Blues who they play on Saturday, Jan 6. The Flyers all-time record against the Blues is 88 W 42 L 17 T 3 OTL. The last meeting between these two teams resulted in a 2-0 win by the Flyers. This will be the first time Brayden Schenn will return to Philadelphia after the draft day trade sent him to the Blues for Jori Lethera, the 2017 first round pick (Morgan Frost), and a conditional 2018 first round pick. The 2018 First round pick becomes a top ten pick, Blues have the option to move the pick to 2019. If the pick is moved to 2019, the Flyers will also receive a 2020 third round pick.