By Melody Miller
Tonight’s game 6 of the Flyers-Isles series will go a long toward deciding the Orange and Black’s future:
Are they sufficiently powerful to challenge for a Stanley Cup as currently constructed or do they need to add lots of scoring to make a run next season?
GM 6 | SEPT. 3 | 7 PM | SCOTIABANK ARENA
ISLES LEAD BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES 3-2
WATCH: NBCSN | NHL.TV
LISTEN: 97.5 FM
The Flyers staved off elimination Tuesday night with their 4-3 overtime win over the Isles in their best-of-seven Second-Round Series.
While the Islanders failed to clinch the series in five games, as Scott Laughton delivered the OT winner 12:20 in to the extra frame, they came back from a 3-1 third-period deficit as they evened the score with two goals in the last of 4:14 of regulation from Brock Nelson and Derick Brassard. Their late rally was accomplished without their dynamic center, Mathew Barzal, who left the game with 4:47 remaining after taking Claude Grioux’s stick to the face.
Barzal’s status for Game 6 is still TBD.
If Barzal is unable to go in Game 6, it would mark a big loss for the Isles, who would lose their top playmaker and an elite skater. If that’s the case, the Isles are fully confident in their options of forwards to step into the lineup and are prepared to embrace their ‘next man up mentality.’
As stated by Flyers coach Alain Vigneault, his team put their “big boy pants on” for Game 5 to keep their season alive.
The Flyers top players stepped up to the occasion. Their captain, Giroux, scored his first goal of the postseason and assisted on the OT winner, while their regular season leading scorer Travis Konecny posted two assists. James Van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen also scored while Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes each added an assist. 22-year-old netminder Carter Hart made timely and clutch saves and finished the outing with 29 stops.
Couturier did not return for the third period or play in overtime after colliding with Barzal with 2:34 remaining in the second period. The Flyers’ key defensive center is still being evaluated and Vigneault doesn’t have any additional updates since the injury per The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor.
The Flyers won their first game of the postseason in which they did not score the first goal. They are 2-0 this postseason in overtime, both wins coming against the Islanders.