The Flyers did not have the desperation. They did not have the energy. They simply could not match the Islanders play throughout the game. But with under five minutes to play in the third period, they appeared to have momentum and certainly a chance, locked in a 2-2 game where all sorts of adversity had reared its head.
Josh Bailey put an end to all of that with the final two shots of the game for the Islanders.
Bailey scored with 3:57 to play in the third to put the Islanders ahead and added another goal 1:23 later to seal a 4-2 win for the Islanders that all but ended the Flyers playoff hopes on Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.
The game started with a parade to the penalty box. Radko Gudas took an early hooking penalty and Robert Hagg was called for a double-minor for high-sticking with 41 seconds left on the Gudas penalty on a play where Anders Lee was actually clipped with the stick of his teammate. The Islanders were called for too many men on the ice 53 seconds later and the Flyers killed off the remaining 1:07 of the Hagg double-minor to keep things scoreless.
Hagg actually got on the board first for the Flyers at 6:39 with a strange but fortunate bounce. Hagg's shot went well wide off the end boards and banked back out at the side of the net, hit the stick of Casey Cizikas and deflected off the back of Robin Lehner and in for the opening goal.
Most of the period, the Islanders controlled possession and they finally cashed in on a chance off a neutral zone turnover by the Flyers. A shot by Scott Mayfield was stopped in front but the rebound was batted out of the air by Brock Nelson just under the crossbar to tie the game at one.
After 20 minutes, the Islanders had a 14-10 advantage in shots.
The Islanders completely outplayed the Flyers in the second period, outshooting them, 15-5. Most of the period saw the Islanders earn extended zone time by winning puck battles and keeping the puck moving. They finally cashed in halfway through the period.
Mathew Barzal was able to get the puck into the high slot for Nick Leddy, who snapped a shot past Carter Hart through a screen to make it 2-1.
The Flyers had to overcome another hurdle early in the third. Ryan Hartman was called for goalie interference despite being pushed into the net by Mayfield and Jake Voracek was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty protesting the call. The Flyers managed to kill off the two-minute 5-on-3 and keep the margin at one.
Finally, the Flyers got a power play of their own and in a matter of seconds, tied the game. Off the face-off, Claude Giroux got the puck back to Shayne Gostisbehere for the game-tying goal at 6:16 of the third.
The 2-2 score held up late until the Islanders finally broke through. Bailey came in along the wing and picked a corner on Hart, snapping the tie with 3:57 left.
Just 1:23 later, Bailey essentially put an end to any mild hope remaining that the Flyers could keep their season alive. Off a two-on-two, Bailey was able to get free in front and bury an easy chance past a sprawling Hart off a feed from Leo Komarov with 2:34 left.
Hart finished the game with 36 saves on 40 shots. Lehner stopped 22 of 24 shots for the Flyers in the win.
The Flyers are right back on the ice on Sunday afternoon for a game against the Washington Capitals. Game time is 12:30.
- PHI Robert Hagg (5) (Radko Gudas, Ryan Hartman) 6:39
- NYI Brock Nelson (23) (Scott Mayfield, Devon Toews) 14:27
- NYI Nick Leddy (4) (Mathew Barzal, Johnny Boychuk) 10:58
- PHI Shayne Gostisbehere (8) PP (Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier) 6:16
- NYI Josh Bailey (15) (Nelson, Andrew Ladd) 16:03
- NYI Bailey (16) (Leo Komarov, Adam Pelech) 17:26