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NOT ALWAYS SUNNY: Islanders Rally Falls Short in Loss to Philadelphia

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New York Islanders lose to the Flyers

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — A third-period rally by the New York Islanders fell just short and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Isles 4-3 on Thursday at the Nassau Coliseum.

An ill-timed icing allowed an offensive zone draw for Philadelphia, which won the draw and was able to work the puck down low. Philadelphia was able to work the puck around and eventually it made its way to Oskar Lindblom in the slot, who beat Semyon Varlamov for the game-winning goal.

The loss snapped the Islanders’ regulation unbeaten streak at Nassau Coliseum. They had been 12-0-2 at home this year prior to Thursday night.

“We knew we were never out of it and we can prove that with that push,” Michael Dal Colle said. “Obviously it’s a tough game not getting the point out of that because it was a really good third for us. We have these guys two more times coming up so we have to make up for it.”

Ironically, the loss came on the first night season ticket holders were allowed back into the building to watch games in person. Roughly 1,400 fans were spread out inside Nassau Coliseum, which hosted spectators for the first time last week when the Islanders invited 1,000 frontline workers from Northwell Health last Thursday.

It was a rough middle frame that put the Islanders behind the eight ball. The Islanders surrendered three goals in the second period and were outshot, and outplayed overall, in the second against Philadelphia.

Second periods have been the Islanders kryptonite as of late with them being outscored 5-0 in their past two second periods. Overall this year, the Islanders have been outscored 28-22.

“I can’t give you a real logical explanation for that at all,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said about the second period. “We didn’t execute, we didn’t win very many battles and dug ourselves a real big hole. Why? I have no idea. I thought the first period we looked a little flat, which is surprising.”

Philadelphia capitalized on their strong second-period scoring quickly into the middle frame. Their first goal came 2:26 into the second off a rebound.

Varlamov made the initial stop, but Oskar Lindblom was given all of the time in the world to collect the rebound in front of the net and put it past the Islanders starter.

Philadelphia extended their lead to two at the 10:04 mark of the second. Nate Prosser flung the puck at the net and Claude Giroux was able to tip it as he skated by the front of the net.

The third goal of the period came with just over five minutes remaining in the second. The Islanders fourth line got caught behind the play and with the odd-man rush Jakub Voracek one-timed a shot past Varlamov to make it 3-0.

The Islanders rally began early in the third period with Dal Colle finding the back of the net for the first time this season. Leddy dished the puck over to Dal Colle on the rush and the Islanders forward fired a wrist shot by Carter Hart at 7:53 of the third for their first goal of the night.

New York cut the lead to one when Aho scored his first of the year at the 13:53 mark. Leddy danced his way by several Philadelphia players before passing the puck to Aho, who beat Hart with a wrister.

Wahlstrom tied the game at three with 5:33 left in the game. The Islanders won the offensive draw and the puck eventually found its way to Leddy, who was able to send a cross-ice pass to wide-open Wahlstrom for the equalizer.

“It really wasn’t going our way in the first two periods,” Josh Bailey said. “At spurts, we found our game, but at times they were hemming us in. I think after the second we just talked about let’s just move forward and get to our game. Give ourselves a chance here even if tonight doesn’t go the way we wanted, let’s at least finish strong and find something to build off of.”

Thursday was the Islanders’ second consecutive loss. They fell on Tuesday to the Washington Capitals in Washington D.C.

Thursday’s game is the first of two games that the Islanders face Philadelphia on Long Island this week.

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