Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored at 7:18 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie and lead the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4. The victory gives the Islanders a 3-1 series lead and moves the Isles to within one game of their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1993.
Brock Nelson bookended Paguea’s goals with two of his own, one of which opened the scoring and the other giving them some wiggle room in the closing minutes of the third.
The victory was the 10th of the playoffs and marks the first time since 1984 that the Islanders have recorded 10 wins in the postseason.
“It wasn’t our best first two periods and (Thomas Greiss) was really solid in the net,” Pageau said. “He gave us that huge save to give us the momentum and keep believing in our chances heading into the third. That’s what good teams do. They come out and they forget about the two periods.
“They look forward and I truly believe we have that kind of group in our locker room. A lot of character and we proved it tonight.”
In typical New York Islanders fashion, Pageau’s goal was generated through the Islanders transition game. After forcing the Flyers to cough up the puck in the Isles end, Scott Mayfield was able to spring Pageau for the breakaway and the Islanders forward was able to sneak the puck through the legs of Brian Elliott.
JG, and I can’t stress this enough, Pageau
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Nelson made it a two-goal lead after Thomas Greiss made several big stops for the Islanders. New York took the puck the other way after and Nelson buried the chance on the give and go with Josh Bailey.
The Flyers cut the Islanders lead to one with 1:05 left in regulation. Ivan Provorov was able to slip one by Greiss for his second of the playoffs.
With the two goals in the third, the Islanders have now outscored the Flyers 8-1 in the third period this series.
“I think we have a lot of confidence in tight games,” said Josh Bailey, who recorded his 12th postseason point with an assist on Nelson’s first goal. “I think it starts with goaltending. We have a lot of confidence in both of those guys. Kind of works it’s way out from there. We just want to keep it going. When you play as a unit of five out there it makes everyone’s job a little easier.”
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Greiss got his first start in net in the playoffs this year after Semyon Varlamov had started all 12 of the previous games. Greiss finished the night with 36 saves, which included a number of big stops over the course of the 60-minute contest.
The Islanders backup netminder hadn’t started a game since the regular season and only recently saw his first action in the playoffs in Game 2. Greiss came into the game in the first period in relief after Semyon Varlamov allowed three goals.
“Greisser made quite a few big stops to keep us in (the game),” Nelson said
The Flyers opted to start Brian Elliott instead of Carter Hart in Game 4. Elliott stopped 30 shots in the loss.
Nelson scored the New York Islanders opening goal 6:52 into the second period to put them up 1-0. Bailey blocked a clearing attempt along the boards and then found Nelson for the goal.
Sean Couturier scored off a deflection to even the game at one. Justin Braun Fired a shot from the point and Couturier was able to get his stick on the puck for the goal.