It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. After a mostly solid first and dominant second, the Flyers gave up two goals late in the third before ultimately winning the game in overtime. Scoring three goals against the defensively stingy Islanders roster is not an easy feat. Yet, at times, the Flyers offense was able to exploit the few holes in the Islander’s system to create scoring opportunities.  Here are a few reasons why the Flyers were victories in game five and forced a game six.

Three Reasons for Success

  1. Using the Islanders’ system against themselves. The Islanders love to collapse down low in the defensive zone and clog up the neutral zone. The Flyers began crashing the net with more frequency and providing more traffic. At times, a total of eight players were in front of Islanders’ goalie Sergei Varlamov. This strategy led to the overtime goal and numerous other chances, as causing traffic helped deflect point shots.
  2. The stars produced. Much has been said about Claude Giroux’s lack of production in the playoffs and with no goals, only five assists, and averaging an abysmal 1.6 shots per game at 5-on-5, it was hard to believe the floodgates would open. But open they did. Giroux had a dominant offensive performance and scored a goal and had an assist on the overtime winner. He was buzzing offensively for the large majority of the night and looked dangerous overall. Travis Konecny had two assists also and James Van Riemsdyk finally got on the board. The Flyers’ needed their big guns to come through and they absolutely did.
  3. Timely saves from Carter Hart. The Islanders’ don’t take a ton of shots in most games, but they tend to capitalize on the opportunities they have. This type of game can be hard for goalies to play against, as they can go long stretches of time without shots as Hart did at numerous moments last night. Hart, however, was up to the task. He made a ton of timely saves, ensuring the Flyers’ victory, especially in overtime.

Going Forward

The Flyers will face off against the islanders once again on Thursday at 7:00 pm ET. Going forward, they will need to do all that is mentioned above and potentially find a way to try and replace their number one center, Sean Couturier. Couturier did not return for the third period and so far there has been no word whether or not he will be available for game six.  Alain Vigneault will have some work to do in shuffling his lines and ensuring the Flyers are once again contributing offensively. Thursday should be another fun ride, filled with drama and intrigue.