Just minutes after Ivan Provorov scored at 15:03 of the second overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 5-4 win and force a game seven on Saturday night in Toronto, Islanders forward Mat Barzal was asked how long it would take for the team to shake this one off and get ready for a win or go home contest.
He said the moving on process had already begun.
“The frustration level is honestly about thirty seconds and that’s about it,” said Barzal who had scored late in the second period to give the Islanders a 4-3 lead. “There’s nothing we can do. Game six is over and we’ve moved on.”
The Islanders lost despite dominating the Flyers more most of the game outshooting Philadelphia 53-31. Scott Laughton, who scored the overtime winner for the Flyers in game five, netted the equalizer at 9:53 of the third period beating Semyon Varlamov who made 26 saves. Matt Martin, Derick Brassard and Anders Lee scored the other Islanders goal, but they couldn’t capitalize on so many wonderful chances as Flyers goalie Carter Hart made 49 saves.
And now it’s do or die on Saturday night at 730 in game seven at Scotiabank Arena.
“You gotta move on and really just focus on game seven,” said Islanders Captain Anders Lee. “You can’t dwell on (the last two games) too much.”
Islanders/Flyers Series Schedule:
Game 1: Monday August 24th…Islanders 4 Flyers 0 (Islanders lead 1-0)
Game 2: Wednesday August 26th…Flyers 4 Islanders 3 F/OT (Series Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Saturday August 29th…Islanders 3 Flyers 1 (Islanders lead 2-1)
Game 4: Sunday August 30th…Islanders 3 Flyers 2 (Islanders lead 3-1)
Game 5: Tuesday September 1st…Flyers 4 Islanders 3 F/OT (Islanders lead 3-2)
Game 6: Thursday September 3rd…Flyers 5 Islanders 4 F/2OT (Series Tied 3-3)
Game 7: Saturday September 5th…Islanders vs Flyers…730pm
After a 3-2 win in game four, the Islanders had a 3-1 series lead and on the cusp of their first trip to a conference final since 1993. That can still happen, but now it will take a win in a game seven, perhaps the two most exciting words in sports.
“Obviously our season is on the line,” said Islanders forward Matt Martin. “If we put forth the effort we put out there (in game six), I like our chances.”
This will be the Islanders’ first game seven since 2015 when they lost 2-1 to the Capitals in Washington to conclude what was a terrific series. Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was behind the Capitals bench that night and feels it’s appropriate that this series between the Islanders and Flyers is going the distance.
“There’s nothing better than a great game seven,” said Trotz. “This is a very good hockey team. (The Flyers) are the number one seed. There’s two evenly matched teams so if you really look at the big picture it’s probably fitting that there is a game seven.”
Fitting maybe, but the Islanders had plenty of chances in this series to put the Flyers away and now it’s down to a game seven which can be a 50-50 proposition in a traditional home or away situation but certainly even more so at a neutral site with no fans in the arena. It’s been a 27 year wait for the Islanders to get to the NHL’s “Final Four”.
To punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay, the Islanders have to win the ultimate contest in a pro sports series.
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)