Thursday, June 1 2023

Not much cooking after All-Star break as Flyers show rust in loss to Islanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers were not sharp Monday night after an eight-day layoff.

John Tortorella’s club returned from the All-Star break with a 2-1 loss to the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

New York, one of the NHL’s better defensive clubs, didn’t make things easy. But the Flyers also had real difficulty finishing and seemed out of sync.

Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Flyers (21-22-9), who were back in Philadelphia to kick off a four-game homestand. The fourth-line winger Deslauriers redirected a Tony DeAngelo shot to draw the Flyers within 2-1 during the second period.

The Flyers’ power play was a costly 0 for 2 and went quietly on a third-period opportunity.

Over the last two days, Tortorella has reiterated patience with his team’s growth. But the Flyers had gone 10-4-2 since the holiday break to gain some steam and wanted to start this homestand better.

“You have a little success, you find ways to win games different ways, I think it builds the belief,” the head coach said Monday morning. “Belief is a very powerful thing if you get it to go from one guy to another and then you get it to a group. I’m hoping that’s the way they feel.”

New York’s big trade acquisition Bo Horvat made his Islanders debut and went scoreless.

The Flyers are 1-2-0 against the Islanders (26-22-5) this season. The clubs meet once more April 8 in Elmont, New York.

• Coming off of his 40-save shutout nine days ago, Carter Hart put up 28 saves against the Islanders.

He did his job.

Mathew Barzal, over a point-per-game player in his career against the Flyers (27 points in 26 games), extended New York’s lead to 2-0 with a second-period marker. It turned out to be the game-winner.

Hart stopped 14 shots in the first period before the Islanders cracked him with 2:53 minutes left in the opening stanza. Kyle Palmieri beat Hart on New York’s second power play opportunity.

Islanders backup Semyon Varlamov stopped 25 of the Flyers’ 26 shots.

• A couple of veteran forwards didn’t help the Flyers’ cause with penalties.

Kevin Hayes committed a pair (delay of game and hooking) and finished with a minus-1 rating.

New York went 1 for 3 on the power play as it scored on Scott Laughton‘s interference penalty in the first period. Laughton was a minus-1, as well.

The Flyers rely a lot on their All-Star (Hayes) and alternate captain (Laughton). When they’re not at their best in the same game, the Flyers are going to feel it.

• With Zack MacEwen out because of a fractured jawKieffer Bellows is getting a look on the Flyers’ fourth line.

“If he plays and we feel he stays in the lineup, we’ll see what he is,” Tortorella said Monday morning. “If not, then there’s other people we’ll look at also. … He’ll kind of make his call for us as far as how he plays.”

The 24-year-old showed his strengths in the club’s 4-0 win over the Jets right before the break, scoring his first goal as a Flyer. It was his first game with the big club in 40-plus days.

“I think it’s a good chance for me to really showcase myself,” Bellows said Monday morning about the opportunity ahead. “Just go out there and play the right way, play to the systems and be the player that I am. I felt I did a good job of showing that in Winnipeg and I want to do that tonight.”

Against his former team the Islanders, Bellows went scoreless in six-plus minutes.

• After missing the final game before the break because of a lower-body injury, Wade Allison returned to the lineup.

He skated on the third line with Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost.

• The homestand continues Thursday when the Flyers welcome two-time Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid and the Oilers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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