The Philadelphia Flyers knew the New York Islanders would bring speed and counter attacking ability to the table in their second round match-up. Both of those traits were key for the Islanders, who took an early advantage in the series.
Andy Greene, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Anders Lee all scored while Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves in a 4-0 Game 1 triumph in Toronto. Carter Hart finished with 24 saves for the Flyers, but defensively the team failed to deal with the Islanders’ speed and ability to put away scoring chances.
The New York Islanders broke through early with veteran defender Andy Greene beating Carter Hart with a slap shot. After great work inside the Flyers zone, Brock Nelson hit Greene at the top of the zone with a pass before the defenseman slapped a shot past Hart.
GREENE WITH THE SLAPPER 🚨 pic.twitter.com/tkVguZVEBr
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 24, 2020
Philadelphia tried to get their game going, but the Islanders continued to own possession early. The Flyers struggled to get good looks on goal and were lucky to go into the first intermission down only one goal.
Hart’s busy first period continued with a jaw-dropping glove save on a wide open Brock Nelson.
Carter Hart flashing the leather early. #AnytimeAnywhere pic.twitter.com/up2w7nvXDN
— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) August 24, 2020
The Flyers regrouped in the first intermission and eventually created some chances of their own in the second period. Claude Giroux and Kevin Hayes had the best chances in the second period, but in-form goaltender Semyon Varlamov was up to the task.
Varlamov made 15 second period saves to keep the Islanders ahead.
Forechecking is a key trait in the Islanders game and it was on display ahead of the team’s second goal of the game. Leo Komarov fought for a loose puck and eventually passed to Jean-Gabriel Pageau whose wrist shot beat Hart to the top right corner.
Barry Trotz’s team added an insurance goal through a superb counter attack led by star center Matthew Barzal. Barzal fed the streaking Anders Lee, whom beat Hart for his first goal of the series.
The Islanders added a fourth goal after Vigneault pulled Hart with the Flyers having a face-off in the offensive zone. Devon Toews got a bit of luck as he cleared the puck off the boards, which went into the empty goal for a 4-0 scoreline.
The Orange and Black will look to even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET.
You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].
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