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Game 6 Heartbreak: Islanders Lose in Double OT, Flyers Force Game 7

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New York Islanders

Ivan Provorov dashed the New York Islanders dreams of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday and forced a Game 7 between the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Provorov scored with 4:57 left in double overtime to lift the Flyers to a 5-4 win in Game 6. It was the third time the Islanders and Flyers have gone to overtime this series, but this was the first time Philadelphia rallied to force the extra time.

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Game 7 will be on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The game-winning-goal began in the Philadelphia end after Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield broke his stick on a shot attempt. Philadelphia transitioned against the stickless defenseman and Philadelphia center Kevin Hayes set up Provorov, who buried the chance behind Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov.

“We had plenty of chances. I thought we had a pretty good game,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I didn’t like a couple of our decisions that they capitalized on. We had lots of chances to win that hockey game. That’s the tough part about the game and the playoff is that it can change. … There’s stuff that’s not in our control and you just have to battle through.”

This is the first time in the playoffs that the Islanders have faced a challenge like this. They dropped consecutive games for the first time in the postseason as well.

The Islanders played as well as they could have hoped for during the 60-plus minute affair. New York ended the game with a 53-31 edge in shots and out-attempted the Flyers 107-75.

The penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4 and the power play capitalized on a chance in the second period. However, it was little mistakes that cost the Islanders in the end.

“Our effort was there tonight, but this is the playoffs,” Derick Brassard said. “Those games are always really close and it didn’t go our way tonight.”

Scott Laughton evened the game at four with 10:07 left in the third period. The Islanders turned over the puck in the puck, which allowed Laughton to breakout and roof a shot past Semyon Varlamov.

Barzal’s second-period goal broke a 3-3 tie after Derick Brassard forced a turnover in the Philadelphia zone. Barzal picked up the loose puck and danced around the defense before putting the puck over the shoulder of Flyers starter Carter Hart.

The loss was the third time in this series that the Islanders have lost in overtime. Game 2 and Game 5 also went into extra periods. Thursday’s game was the fourth-longest game in New York Islanders history.

“The frustration level is honestly about 30 seconds and then that’s about it,” Barzal said. “There’s nothing we can do. Game 6 is over now and we’ve moved on. It’s an unfortunate play that happens there at the end, but it happens. Now it’s a winner take Game 7, so we’ve turned the page in the last 10 minutes. We had a nice team talk after the game quickly and move on.”

Brassard, Matt Martin and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders and Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves. Carter Hart stopped 49 shots for Philadelphia.

It was Matt Martin’s early second-period goal that tied the game at one. Martin scored off an odd-man rush after Cal Clutterbuck moved the puck over to him in the slot for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Mat Barzal Records Big Points After Concern Over Game 6 Availability

The Flyers attempted to challenge the goal and when it was confirmed a good goal, the Islanders made them pay on the ensuing power play.

Anders Lee put the Islanders up 3-2 off a rebound goal after Hart stopped Barzal’s initial shot. The Flyers evened the game at three later in the period when Michael Raffl scored on a rebound goal of his own.

Despite a strong start from the Islanders, it was the Flyers that opened the scoring. It was a lackadaisical clear by Lee that led to a turnover in the neutral zone.

The Flyers came charging into the zone and Kevin Hayes buried a shot from the slot to make it 1-0.

Philadelphia made it 2-0 off another Islanders turnover, this time in the offensive zone. The Flyers rushed up the ice and James van Riemsdyk beat Varlamov with a hard slapshot.

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