Flyers edge Islanders 4-3 on late goal by Lindblom
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Oskar Lindblom scored his second goal of the game with 2:22 left, Carter Hart made 22 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers recovered after blowing a late, three-goal lead to beat the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.
Lindblom’s shot from between the circles beat goalie Semyon Varlamov for this fourth goal this season. Travis Konecny assisted, his third of the contest, and the Flyers won in regulation for only the second time in their last 10 games.
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek also scored as Philadelphia beat the Islanders for the third straight time this season.
“They had a good push. When a team is down, they are going to be aggressive,″ Giroux said of the Islanders’ late surge. “We just kept playing. We kept fighting. That was a big goal by Oskar right there.”
New York rallied after its offense was silent through the first two periods. Michael Dal Colle, Sebastian Aho and Oliver Wahlstrom scored in a span under seven minutes to ignite the home crowd, which consisted of season-ticket holders for the first time in more than a year. The goals by Aho and Wahlstrom came 34 seconds apart.
The teams will meet again on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum and Monday in Philadelphia.
The Flyers scored three times in the second period to enter the third with a commanding lead. One night earlier, the Flyers were trounced 9-0 by the Rangers at Madison Square Garden — the most lopsided road shutout loss in franchise history.
Flyers coach Alain Vigneault praised his team’s leadership for helping the club respond positively after the drubbing.
“At the end of the day, our captain and his assistants really took the lead,″ he said. “Nobody was happy about yesterday. This is a proud group. We laid it all out tonight. We battled hard against a team that hadn’t lost at home in quite some time. We found a way to get it done.”
The loss was the second straight for the Islanders, who were coming off a 3-1 road defeat to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday to snap a nine-game winning streak. It was also the first regulation loss at home for the Islanders, who are 12-1-2 at Nassau Coliseum.
The defeat left Islanders coach Barry Trotz miffed. It came a day after the team said their captain Anders Lee would be out for the season with a knee injury.
“We didn’t execute, didn’t win many battles,″ Trotz said. ”In the first period we looked flat, which is surprising. We knew Philly would be determined. They wanted it more than we did. ... I’m disappointed in our thought process and how we played that game.”
After a scoreless first period, Lindblom opening the scoring at 2:26 of the second with his third goal of the season. Konecny and Giroux had assists. Lindblom was scratched for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers. The 24-year-old Swedish forward has returned this season after undergoing treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Giroux made it 2-0 at 10:04, deflecting a shot past Varlamov for his seventh goal of the season. Giroux has 60 career points (19 goals and 41 assists) against the Islanders, third-most among active players behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Voracek increased the lead to 3-0 at 14:01 with his fifth goal. Kevin Hayes made a cross-ice pass to Voracek in the right circle, and the Czech forward one-timed the puck past Varlamov.
Dal Colle ruined Hart’s shutout bid with his first goal of the season at 7:53 of the third. It was Dal Colle’s first goal since Feb. 6, 2020, a span of 32 games. Nick Leddy got the first of three assists.
Aho — playing in place of fellow defenseman Noah Dobson, who is on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list — narrowed the deficit to 3-2 at 13:53 with his first goal of the season and his first overall since January 2018.
Wahlstrom tied it with his seventh of the season at 14:27 off another set up by Leddy, who leads the Islanders with 20 assists.
Season-ticket holders were back at Nassau Coliseum for the first time since last March 7 with 10% of seats taken and loud chants sprouting from the crowd sporadically during the early stages of the contest.
The Islanders are in a stretch in which they are scheduled to play 19 times in 33 days for the first time in franchise history. They are 10-2-1 thus far in the span of games.
The Islanders have four players with active consecutive game streaks of at least 200 games: Brock Nelson at 276, Mathew Barzal with 263 and Ryan Pulock at 226. All three players have appeared in every game since Barry Trotz became the team’s coach to the start the 2018-19 season. Islanders captain Anders Lee had played 295 straight games before suffering a season-ending knee injury against the New Jersey Devils on March 11.
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