Spencer Howard Picks Up First Big League Win
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Round 2, Game 5 Preview: Flyers-Islanders

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It's all on the line now for the Flyers. Following back-to-back losses over the weekend, the Flyers are on the brink of elimination, down 3-1 in the series to the Islanders.

There is a chance this could be the last game of the 2019-20 season for the Flyers. There is a chance their time in the Toronto bubble will end. But it is also in the control of the Flyers to try to make a push and at least inch their way back into the series with a win in Game 5 and forcing a Game 6.

Game 5 is set for 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New York Islanders GP G A P
Kevin Hayes 13 3 7 10 Josh Bailey 13 2 11 13
Jake Voracek 12 4 4 8 Anthony Beauvillier 13 7 4 11
Sean Couturier 13 2 6 8 Brock Nelson 13 5 5 10
Scott Laughton 12 3 3 6 Mathew Barzal 13 3 7 10
Travis Sanheim 13 1 5 6 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 13 7 2 9
 
Player to Watch
28 Claude Giroux 13 Mathew Barzal
Last 5 Games: 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, -1 Last 5 Games: 0 G, 3 A, 3 P, E
 
With the season on the line, you look to your leaders to step up. Claude Giroux is right in the center of the focus of that, with no goals in his last 14 playoff games and really having it tarnish his legacy. Giroux can silence that narrative with a strong game, and the Flyers certainly need it from him and the rest of their top players.
 
As excellent as he has been in the series, it may be hard to believe that Mathew Barzal has yet to score a goal in the series. He had assists in each of the first three games of the series, but was held off the board in Game 4. Barzal has displayed the ability to take over a shift and take over a game, and with a chance to move on, he should be motivated to bring even more contributions.
 
Projected Goalie Matchup
79 Carter Hart 40 Semyon Varlamov
11 GP, 7-4-0, 2.08 GAA, .931 SV% 12 GP, 9-2-0, 1.69 GAA, .935 SV%

Facing elimination, the Flyers will turn to their young goaltender hoping to get the performance out of him that can keep the season going. Carter Hart has been solid in the playoffs, but the Flyers need his best to keep their season going.

The Islanders got a great performance out of Thomas Greiss in Game 4 to take control of the series. Now they will shift back to Semyon Varlamov, who has also been excellent and has helped the Islanders primarily reach this point.

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 21 Scott Laughton 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
38 Derek Grant 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: Alain Vigneault said that primary group took the morning skate and that there could be changes, but that the team will be ready to go regardless. One player who will likely not be in the lineup is Oskar Lindblom. The Flyers teased that Lindblom could be returning and he did take warmups ahead of Game 4. Lindblom will take warmups in Game 5, but Vigneault said he is still "a few days away."
  • Islanders: The Islanders have primarily used the same lineup throughout the series and there's no reason to believe any changes will be coming now. Expect the same group for the Islanders in Game 5.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (22nd), Islanders (13th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-14th), Islanders (17th)
  • 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)
    • Aug. 29, 2020 (Game 3) - Islanders 3, Flyers 1
    • Aug. 30, 2020 (Game 4) - Islanders 3, Flyers 2
  • 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

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