The NHL is filled with two exciting matchups on August 26 as the second round continues. One of these matchups will be between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers. These two teams will look to come out strong in this one as they try and earn an important Game 2 win. The puck will drop for this game at around 3:00 PM Eastern time.
The Islanders have earned a record of 35-23-10 throughout the regular season. New York finished in seventh place of the Eastern Conference with that record. The Islanders then met up with the Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals in the Qualifying round and the first round. New York made quick work of both teams to secure a spot in the second round.
Philadelphia finished out the regular season with a record of 41-21-7, which had them in fourth place of the Eastern Conference. The Flyers were able to go undefeated in the round robin, which put them in the top spot of the East. Philadelphia played a tough six game series with the Montreal Canadiens to get to the second round. Now the Flyers will look to tie up this series with a win in Game 2.
These two teams have been on a strong start to the playoffs, which has them among the final eight. New York was able to win Game 1 of this series to take an early lead. The Flyers will now look to solve the Islanders defense to try and tie this series up. I expect a strong series between these two teams as we move further into the second round.
New York and Philadelphia met up three times throughout the regular season. The Islanders hosted the first game on October 27. Jakub Voracek scored a goal and added an assist, but it was not enough for the Flyers. Anders Lee scored a goal and an assist, while eleven other players earned a point for New York. Semyon Varlamov stopped 28 of the 31 shots against him to give the Islanders a 5-3 win.
The second game of the season series shifted to Philadelphia on November 16. Sean Couturier, Oskar Lindblom and Ivan Provorov all had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, but Philadelphia still fell short. Anthony Beauvillier scored twice, while Derick Brassard and Brock Nelson both had two assists. Jordan Eberle scored the game winner in the shootout as New York won 4-3.
The most recent game of the season series was in New York on February 11. Claude Giroux and Scott Laughton both had two assists, but once again, the Flyers could not break through on the Islanders. Mat Barzal finished with three assists, while Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle and Leo Komarov all had a goal and an assist. Semyon Varlamov had 35 saves on 38 shots as New York won 5-3.
Game 1 of this series was on August 24. Andy Greene opened up the scoring for the Islanders in the first period. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Anders Lee both scored early in the third, while Devon Toews iced the game with an empty netter. Semyon Varlamov turned away all 29 shots he faced as the Islanders took Game 1 with a 4-0 win.
The Islanders finished out the regular season with a power play percentage of 17.3 percent. New York also killed off 80.7 percent of the penalties against them. The Islanders special team unit has struggled throughout the playoffs though. New York has capitalized on 15.4 percent of their power play chances, while killing off 75.8 percent of their opponent’s power play attempts.
Philadelphia had a solid special team unit throughout the regular season. The Flyers capitalized on 20.8 percent of their power play opportunities and put up a penalty kill percentage of 81.8 percent. Philadelphia has not done quite as well on special teams in the playoffs though. The Flyers have scored on 10 percent of their power play chances and have killed off 81.3 percent of the penalties against.
These two teams have put up pitiful power play numbers throughout the postseason, which could turn into a problem the deeper that they go in the playoffs. Of these two teams though, I believe that the Flyers have the better chance to get the power play going. Philadelphia had the better power play in the regular season and a better penalty kill in the postseason.
Semyon Varlamov will get the start in crease for New York in this matchup. Varlamov finished out the regular season with a record of 19-14-6. He posted a .914 save percentage and a GAA of 2.62 throughout those games. Semyon Varlamov has put up a save percentage of .941 and a 1.50 GAA throughout the postseason.
Carter Hart will get the nod in net for the Flyers in Game 2 of this series. Hart earned a record of 24-13-3 throughout the regular season. Hart posted a save percentage of .914 and a GAA of 2.42 throughout those games. He has put up a .938 save percentage and a 1.86 GAA through nine games in the playoffs this season.
These two goalies have been big reasons why their teams have made their respective playoff runs. Varlamov earned a solid shutout in Game 1 of this series, while Hart had a bit of an off game. I expect Hart to bounce back in Game 2, while the Flyers will put pressure on Varlamov to find a way to solve him. If Philadelphia can break through on Varlamov early, it could give them an edge in this one.
The Flyers are coming off a tough loss in the Game 1 of this series, but I expect them to bounce back in Game 2. Philadelphia had moments of good pressure on the Islanders, but could not solve Varlamov. I do not expect Varlamov to be perfect in Game 2 as well, giving the Flyers a chance to get an early lead. If Hart can bounce back in this one, I think Philadelphia will tie up this series.
BetOnline has the Flyers listed as a -105 against the money line in this one. This implies that these two teams are a coin flip on who is going to win. I believe after Game 1 of this series this line makes a lot of sense. While the final score looks a bit lopsided, these two teams are very evenly matched. I expect the Flyers to bounce back as we get ready for a back and forth series.