Flyers suffer another cruel finish with another loss after regulation to Islanders

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Jordan Hall
·4 min read
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Flyers suffer another cruel finish in a season piling up with them originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Consider this the latest of bad breaks in a 2020-21 season that has not gone the Flyers' way whatsoever.

The Flyers suffered another stomach-twisting loss with a 1-0 decision to the Islanders in overtime Sunday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Nick Leddy scored the winner for New York. His attempt at a pass went off Travis Sanheim's stick and past Brian Elliott, who turned out to be the tough-luck loser in a quality goalie showdown.

The Flyers (20-18-7) have gone to OT six times with the Islanders this season after doing so three times in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Islanders (28-13-4) have taken the last five meetings from the Flyers, four of them after regulation.

• The Flyers really competed and were the better team for two of three periods. They had allowed only 13 shots over the first 40 minutes and played the north-south, possession-based game that was a staple to their 2019-20 success.

So that had to be good to see for the Flyers, especially given they were allowing an NHL-most 4.04 goals per game since the start of March.

On Sunday night, they couldn't capitalize on their chances and head coach Alain Vigneault admitted they're "running on fumes." The Flyers could probably get higher percentage chances, but the effort and style in which they played with will breed better looks over time.

If the Flyers play like that more consistently, they'll win more games. It's all about carrying over positives into the offseason.

• Elliott was strong in net with 27 saves. He didn't see much volume over the first two periods but converted 13 stops in the final frame.

Ilya Sorokin has been a thorn in the Flyers' side. New York's netminder is 5-0-0 with 144 saves on 150 shots in his last five starts against the Flyers.

• The Flyers' 30th-ranked penalty kill turned away two power play chances for the Islanders in the third period.

"With all the time that we had spent in their zone, in my personal opinion anyway, to get those two average calls against us with everything that they had let go in the first two periods there just wasn’t right and they were able to get momentum off it," Vigneault said. "Moose came in and made some really big saves for us."

Wade Allison gave New York its second man advantage opportunity when he was whistled for holding Mathew Barzal. The 23-year-old power forward played with Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee in his third game. He finished with five hits and two shots in 13:17 minutes.

Hayes had five shots but was unable to bury one. The 28-year-old center has been in a scoring funk over his last 11 games, with no goals and two assists. Hayes knows his offense will come when he gets after it 200 feet.

He had a giveaway that gave New York possession before its winning goal.

"A combination of bad break and Hayesy makes a bad pass where we lose control of the puck," Vigneault said. "We win the faceoff, we’ve got the puck, we need to make a better first pass and we don’t. It's too bad for Travis and Brian — Moose had played real good, Travis had played one of his best games as far as being in control and skating well, and unfortunately the puck went off his stick as he was trying to break up the play."

• Alex Lyon was Elliott's backup Sunday as the Flyers have planned to keep Carter Hart (lower-body injury) off the ice until Tuesday. Hart was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday. The Flyers are scheduled to be off Monday before returning to practice Tuesday.

Nolan Patrick (upper-body injury) and Tanner Laczynski (lower-body injury) missed a second straight game. However, both skated Sunday at the club's practice facility. Vigneault said the Flyers are simply being cautious with Patrick after the 22-year-old center took a shot to the head in Thursday night's game.

• In touching fashion, the Flyers saluted Oskar Lindblom during warmups on Hockey Fights Cancer night.

"A special night," Sanheim said. "I think that’s part of the reason why we had so much jump tonight."

• Cam York, who has been temporarily assigned to the Flyers' taxi squad, could be headed back to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley soon. Here's more on when the 2019 first-round pick might make his pro debut.

• In a highly unusual occurrence this season, the Flyers have three days between games. They're next in action when they visit the Rangers for a back-to-back set over Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) at Madison Square Garden.

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