Round 2, Game 3 Preview: Flyers-Islanders

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers and Islanders were set to come right back from Game 2 and take the ice again just 25 hours later for Game 3. But the social injustice issues in the world and United States provided a reason to put everything on pause and take a break from hockey, for all the right reasons.

Players spoke out about these issues, how they vowed to listen and learn and how they want to be involved. Every game on Saturday will have an extended moment of solidarity and we are sure to see more displays of this in the coming weeks.

There is a game once again on Saturday, and after a few days of necessary reflection and conversation, it is time to get back on the ice. The Flyers and Islanders will be out there, and the team that comes out on top will once again be on top in the series.

Game 3 is set for 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New York Islanders GP G A P
Kevin Hayes 11 3 6 9 Josh Bailey 11 2 9 11
Jake Voracek 10 4 4 8 Anthony Beauvillier 11 7 3 10
Sean Couturier 11 1 6 7 Mathew Barzal 11 3 6 9
Scott Laughton 10 3 2 5 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 11 6 2 8
Joel Farabee 9 3 2 5 Brock Nelson 11 3 5 8
 
Player to Watch
13 Kevin Hayes 44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Last 5 Games: 3 G, 2 A, 5 P, +4 Last 5 Games: 3 G, 0 A, 3 P, +6
 
Kevin Hayes sure stepped up in a big way in Game 2, and now that he has three goals in his last three games, he seems poised to be among the Flyers top performers consistently. The Flyers are going to need him at both ends of the ice in this series, and following an excellent Game 2, he looks to follow it up.
 
In both games of this series, Jean-Gabriel Pageau has scored at a critical time. Both goals have come in the third period, one essentially putting the Islanders stamp on a game and the other tying the game late and forcing overtime. Look for him to be around the net and trying to come up with the big goal again in Game 3.
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 40 Semyon Varlamov
10 GP, 7-3-0, 1.97 GAA, .935 SV% 11 GP, 8-2-0, 1.76 GAA, .932 SV%

The previously scheduled back-to-back made it much more of a question who would get the start. There's really no question now. It's back to Carter Hart. Hart was again sharp in Game 2, and despite allowing three goals, helped keep the Flyers in the game throughout and gave them a chance to win, all you can ask from your netminder.

It seemed like the Islanders plan was already established when Semyon Varlamov was pulled in the first period of Game 2. Yes, he struggled out of the gate, but this was an opportunity, with Game 3 today, to get Varlamov on the ice and be ready for that game. Expect Varlamov back in goal tonight after a short day on Wednesday.

Flyers Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
28 Claude Giroux 14 Sean Couturier 93 Jake Voracek
49 Joel Farabee 13 Kevin Hayes 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk 38 Derek Grant 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
12 Michael Raffl 44 Nate Thompson 18 Tyler Pitlick
Defense    
9 Ivan Provorov 15 Matt Niskanen  
6 Travis Sanheim 5 Phil Myers  
8 Robert Hagg 61 Justin Braun  
Goalie    
79 Carter Hart 37 Brian Elliott  

Islanders Projected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
27 Anders Lee 13 Mathew Barzal 7 Jordan Eberle
18 Anthony Beauvillier 29 Brock Nelson 12 Josh Bailey
10 Derick Brassard 44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 47 Leo Komarov
17 Matt Martin 53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck
Defense    
3 Adam Pelech 6 Ryan Pulock  
25 Devon Toews 24 Scott Mayfield  
2 Nick Leddy 4 Andy Greene  
Goalie    
40 Semyon Varlamov 1 Thomas Greiss  

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: No word on any lineup changes for the Flyers, but Scott Laughton was an interesting absence in Game 2. Vigneault would not comment on player availability, which could indicate that Laughton is battling an injury, but if he's able to play, the Flyers could use a player who is fresh and ready to go.
  • Islanders: The Islanders will likely not make many changes to the lineup, especially now that the back-to-back in the series has been pushed back. They have some valuable depth in veterans Derick Brassard and Johnny Boychuk available, and both could see action if they want to inject some players who should have extra energy into the lineup.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (22nd), Islanders (T-14th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (14th), Islanders (20th)
  • Recent History vs. Islanders
    • Oct. 27, 2019 – Islanders 5, Flyers 3 (at NYI)
    • Nov. 16, 2019 – Islanders 4, Flyers 3 (F/SO) (at PHI)
    • Feb. 11, 2020 – Islanders 5, Flyers 3 (at NYI)
    • Aug. 24, 2020 (Game 1) – Islanders 4, Flyers 0
    • Aug. 26, 2020 (Game 2) – Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Islanders (Career Regular Season Stats)
    • Claude Giroux – 52 GP, 18 G, 38 A, 56 P
    • Jake Voracek – 42 GP, 6 G, 27 A, 33 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 37 GP, 11 G, 17 A, 28 P
    • Sean Couturier – 37 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 P
    • Matt Niskanen – 38 GP, 4 G, 14 A, 18 P
    • Carter Hart – 2 GP, 0-2-0, 6.23 GAA, .833 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBCSN
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

YWT: The Philadelphia Flyers Podcast