The Philadelphia Flyers cannot care about style points at this time of the season. Ugly wins are worth just as much and the pretty ones and the Flyers picked up two huge points in a wild 5-4 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
The Flyers got off to a quick start and opened the scoring with a power play goal at 8:38 of the first period. Claude Giroux passed across the ice to Jakub Voracek at the top of the right circle where he quickly fired towards the net. Sean Couturier camped out in front of the net and redirected the shot up and over the shoulder of Thomas Greiss for his team-high 19th goal. With the primary assist, Voracek took over the NHL lead in helpers with 39.
Cal Clutterbuck tied the game at 15:37 with the 200th goal of his NHL career. After ringing a shot on the rush off the post, Clutterbuck went to the front of the net and had a shot from Nick Leddy hit off his shin and get in behind Brian Elliott while battling for position with Andrew MacDonald.
The Flyers scored early and they scored often in the second period to jump out to a big lead. Michael Raffl broke the tie at the 1:36 mark as he got to the front of the net and had Ivan Provorov’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle hit off of him on its way into the Islanders net. Shayne Gostisbehere picked up the secondary assist on Raffl’s seventh goal of the year.
Wayne Simmonds doubled the lead 40 seconds later with his 13th tally. Robert Hagg’s one-timer from the blue line never got through to the net, but Simmonds was right on the doorstep to left the puck up and over Greiss. Jordan Weal was credited with an assist on the play as well.
Provorov extended the lead to 4-1 with a power play goal at 6:24 as his wrist shot through heavy traffic from the high slot made its way into the back of the net. Brandon Manning and Nolan Patrick had the assists on the goal.
Clutterbuck struck again about six minutes later to cut the lead down to 4-2. Elliott made a save on a close range shot by Shane Prince, but gave a juicy rebound out front where Clutterback had inside positionng on Manning to quickly bang it into the Flyers net.
Whatever momentum the Islanders gained was erased 90 seconds later when Travis Konecny scored his fifth goal of the year to restore the three-goal lead. Couturier intercepted a pass at his own blue line and flipped it ahead to spring Konecny on a breakaway where he snapped the puck past Greiss.
The Islanders would not go down without a fight as John Tavares cut the lead to 5-3 with a power play goal at 6:02 of the third period. While Scott Laughton sat in the box for hooking, the Isles’ leading goal scoring skated to the right dot where he ripped a wrist shot through a screen for his 22nd goal.
Ryan Pulock made things very interesting by cutting the Flyers lead to just one goal at 14:35 as he grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone, then faked a shot to get around Hagg before beating Elliott high to the glove side.
After a feisty few minutes, Provorov iced the game with an empty net, power play goal with just 13 seconds left in the game. The dynamic duo of Giroux and Voracek picked up the assists on the play.
The Flyers are off until Saturday afternoon when they host Brayden Schenn and the St. Louis Blues.