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New York Islanders

Islanders Rally Falls Short in Game 5 Loss to Flyers

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New York Islanders lament a goal scored by the Philadelphia Flyers

The New York Islanders will have to wait another day for a shot to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the Islanders rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period, Scott Laughton got a deflection goal at 12:20 of the overtime period to secure a 4-3 win for the Flyers and push the Second Round series to a sixth game. The loss continues a trend that has seen the Islanders fail to close out an opponent on their first opportunity in every series they’ve played this postseason.

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Ivan Provorov slung a shot towards the net from the blueline and Laughton was able to get the deflection for the game-winning goal.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes. I think as wingers we have to do a better job and try and get out there as quick as we can,” Josh Bailey said about stopping the deflection goals. “Then try and tie guys up in front. I think fro the most part our D and forwards do a good job. Those pucks are going to find their way in sometimes. Hopefully next game they find their way in for us.”

The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers will Play Game 6 on Thursday. However, a time has not been set yet for the game.

It capped a night that saw the Islanders play sloppily for a better part of Game 5, but claw back with two goals in the final five minutes of the third. It was the third time this season that the Islanders eliminated a third period deficit against the Flyers and the second time during the postseason.

“That’s just the character of our team,” Jordan Eberle said. “There’s quit in us. We want to continue, even you’re down 3-1 with eight or nine minutes left. There’s still an opportunity to win the game. Obviously, didn’t get the result. It wasn’t what we wanted, but we’ll be ready to go next time.”

Mat Barzal Leaves Game 5 Early

Semyon Varlamov returned to the net after Thomas Greiss started in Game 4. Varlamov gave the Islanders a 28 save effort on Tuesday.

The Islanders mounted a third-period comeback late in the final 20 minutes. It started with a goal from Brock Nelson off a one-timer with 4: 14 left in the period. The goal was Nelson’s sixth of the playoffs and pulled the Islanders within one.

The equalizer came with 2:41 left in regulation. With the Islanders buzzing Cal Clutterbuck took the puck off the wall and skated towards the net. Clutterbuck was able to get a backhand centering pass over to Brassard, who backhanded the puck past Hart for the goal.

“Our first period they had lot more desperation coming out of the gates than we did,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I thought we stabilized the game. In the second I thought we were coming pretty good. We got the power-play goal and then we made a couple of I would say questionable decisions. They capitalized on their chances. In the third period, I thought we were coming.”

The Islanders took the lead 1:20 into the second period with the Islanders on the power play. Bailey put a shot on goal from the side of the net and it ricocheted off a someone in the blue paint and went in. The goal was originally credited to Josh Bailey but was later changed to Mat Barzal’s goal

The Flyers challenged the goal for goaltender interference, arguing that Mat Barzal was hindering Carter Hart’s ability to make the save. After review, it was ruled a good goal and that Barzal had been pushed into the crease by a Flyers player.

It was Claude Giroux’s first of the playoffs that evened the game at one at the 15:45 of the second period. Philippe Myers threw a puck towards the net from the blueline and Giroux deflected it in the slot by Semyon Varlamov.

Less than three minutes later the Flyers captured the lead off an offensive zone turnover by the Islanders. Philadelphia took the puck the other way and on an odd-man rush, James van Riemsdyk scored to make it 2-1 at 18:18.

It was another costly turnover in the third that put the Islanders down by two early in the period. Derick Brassard went to pass the puck Jean-Gabriel Pageau as they exited the Islanders zone, but the pass was picked off and the Flyers took advantage.

Matt Niskanen fired a slapshot from the far side of the ice and beat Varlamov to make it 3-1.

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New York Islanders

Anders Lee Looks Back While Waiting for What’s Ahead with Islanders

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Anders Lee

While the hockey world looks forward and waits to find out when or even if the 2020-21 season will start, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee took a moment to look back and reflect.

Lee and the Islanders are now just over a month removed from their season-ending loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to Tampa Bay. It had been the deepest the Islanders had gone in the playoffs since 1993 and the run shocked much of the hockey world.

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New York Islanders

What Could Home Games Look Like for the New York Islanders Next Season?

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New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum

There are a lot of questions about the 2020-21 NHL season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed at the draft that the league was looking at a Jan. 1 start date. Outside of that, not much is known about their plan. The NHL has said in the past that they’d like to play a full 82 game schedule, but even that remains a question.

And for owners, the question of whether fans will be allowed in the building when games do start remains a major concern. The NHL, unlike NBA or NFL, is a gate driven league and relies heavily on paying customers filling the seats at arenas.

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Free Agency

Free Agency: Martin, Greene Likely to Return to Islanders for Next Season

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New York Islanders logo

It seems all but certain that Andy Greene is returning to the New York Islanders, and the same goes for Matt Martin.

The Islanders continue to sit in a holding pattern as they look to free up cap space via trades, but things seem to be pointing to a return for the two NHL veterans. General manager Lou Lamoriello called the return of Greene “a very strong option” during a Zoom conference call on Monday night and multiple reports indicated that the Islanders and Martin are working on a deal.

Greene’s return makes even more sense following the trade of Devon Toews to Colorado on Monday. Greene has worked with Noah Dobson, who will take Toews’ place on the blue line, in the past and proved extremely valuable during the postseason.

The soon to be 38-year-old — Greene’s birthday is on Oct. 30 — could be looking at a one-year deal from the Islanders to provide that veteran presence on the blue line. Greene had four points (two goals, two assists) in 21 playoff games with the Islanders.

Martin also had an impressive postseason of his own with five goals in 21 games, which matched his regular-season total. The fan-favorite has been a mainstay on the fourth line alongside Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas.

Martin’s deal with the Islanders, or anyone else for that matter should it get to that point, would be far less than the four-year, $10 million deal he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016. That carried a $2.5 million AAV and that is much higher than what the Islanders can afford at the moment.

Devon Toews Traded to Colorado for Second Round Picks

The decision to move Toews on Monday came out of necessity so that the Islanders could get back some pieces to sweeten any potential trades that would move some of their pricier contracts and free up some more salary cap room. The Islanders have been working with just $8.9 million in cap space.

The Islanders still need to re-sign restricted free agents Mat Barzal and Ryan Pulock and trading away the likes of Johnny Boychuk or another hefty contract would help make that task simpler.

The Fourth Period reported that the Islanders have been shopping Boychuk around. Boychuk has two years left on a deal that carries an AAV of $6 million and a list if eight teams he can be traded to. Leo Komarov is also reportedly being shopped by the Islanders.

Komarov also has two years left on his contract, which has a $3 million AAV and a seven-team no-trade list.

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