Just over 24 hours after the New York Islanders fell 4-3 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers, they’ll get to do it all over again. Say what you will about back-to-backs, but after a heartbreaking loss like that they may not be the worst thing in the world.
The Islanders and Flyers will complete one of potentially two back-to-backs on Thursday night when they drop the puck for Game 3. New York rallied from a three-goal first-period deficit to force overtime, but couldn’t come away with the win.
The series is tied 1-1 heading into the third game of the best-of-seven series.
“A loss is a loss and we have to put it behind us,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We have to focus on tomorrow’s game. It’s a swing game. We’re tied 1-1, so it’s a swing game.”
The Islanders fell behind early in Game 2 and saw the Flyers jump to a 3-0 lead before the first buzzer sounded. Semyon Varlamov was pulled from the game midway through the first period and it looked as though the game may have already been decided.
New York countered with a goal in the second period and then two in the third to force overtime, where they would ultimately fall short. Thus making Wednesday’s loss a little bit tougher to swallow.
“You want to complete the comeback, that’s the disappointing part. The positive is it reinforces a lot of things you were able to do back in the game,” Trotz said. “You can take a lot of good from that. It is taxing in terms that we were investing in and pushing them back, and they had some hard minutes. Hopefully, it multiplies as we play more and more games.”
The quick turnaround takes away some of the Islanders ability to dwell on the disappointing aspect of the game. They’ll have that luxury quite a bit in this series with the schedule so condensed.
The Islanders are in the middle of a span that has them playing four games over a six-night span.
“I think anytime you have a back-to-back that’s obviously a thing,” Anders Lee said when asked about putting the loss behind them quickly. “You have to move on from tonight. This one stings a little bit because we worked so hard to get back. There’s no other choice but to look on to tomorrow and regroup. Try to recover and all those things that get us ready for tomorrow.
“You’re going to face adversity at times and I think we faced it a little bit tonight. Overcame a little bit of it, but obviously we were a little bit short. We’ll grow and learn from this, and move on.”