Flyers Edge out Isles in Ugly 4-3 OT Win
On Wednesday night, the New York Islanders debuted their brand new third jerseys.
Surprisingly, they weren’t the ugliest sight on the ice.
After allowing three unanswered goals in the first period, it appeared as though the Philadelphia Flyers were in for a long night.
But the team managed to capitalize on two advantageous bounces and rode a two-goal night from Daniel Briere to edge out the Islanders in overtime, 4-3.
The scoring began immediately after the opening draw.
Andrej Meszaros entered the Islanders zone and ripped a shot from the point past Rick DiPietro. The goal came eighteen seconds into the game.
Nineteen seconds later, New York would answer with a quick goal of their own.
The play began when Braydon Coburn attempted an ill-advised pass to Claude Giroux. Instead of receiving the pass, Giroux decided to deflect the puck behind the Flyers goal, which found the stick of Islander forward Michael Grabner. He abruptly sent a pass to Kyle Okposo who then tied the game at one.
It was the Islanders first shot of the game.
Okposo and Grabner connected two more times prior to the end of the first.
Okposo scored the Islanders second goal during a Zac Rinaldo interference penalty. The Islanders entered the zone with the Flyers fully established in a box defense. Ultimately, two Philadelphia players ended up guarding the same man leaving the trailing Okposo wide open in the slot.
The same was true of Grabner’s goal.
Okposo threw an errant pass into the slot that was intended for a player other than Grabner. Philadelphia’s defense was so out of position that it didn’t make a difference. Grabner had a clear shot out at Ilya Bryzgalov and put New York up 3-1.
After allowing three goals on nine shots in the first, head coach Peter Laviolette decided to give Sergei Bobrovsky a chance.
The Flyers started off the second with a head of steam, but their sloppy play continued over from the first.
Fortunately, the team had some luck on their side.
During a Steve Staios tripping penalty, Jakub Voracek began a drive into the New York zone.
Although Scott Hartnell was driving the wing, Voracek decided to attempt a slap shot from the top of the point. The shot deflected off an Islander defender and caromed off the end wall.
Instead of staying in the corner, the puck bounced to the front of the goalmouth where the driving Hartnell was able to pop the puck over DiPietro’s shoulder.
The Flyers third goal also resulted from a fruitful bounce in front of DiPietro.
With a little over five minutes remaining in the third period, Briere wrapped a puck around the boards from center ice.
The play was intended to establish an offensive zone attack.
Instead, the puck bounced off the glass in front of DiPietro. He had a difficult time rounding up the puck. Before he was able to gain control, Briere followed up his own rebound and tied the game at three.
After killing off a Hartnell penalty in the overtime period, Briere scored another goal to ice the game for the Flyers.
While Briere played a crucial role in the Flyers win, it is difficult to overlook the play of Bobrovsky.
He stopped all 23 shots he faced and made several saves that kept the Flyers in the game.
In general, the team continued their sloppy play from earlier in the week. There was little continuity throughout the lines and passing looked painful at times.
The win tonight was a testament to the team's ability to stay in a game.
But if it's an indicator of things to come, then future results may be uglier than the Islanders new threads.