Thu, 07 Jul 2022

Islanders chase two-game sweep of floundering Flyers

Field Level Media
18 Jan 2022, 15:55 GMT+10

The Philadelphia Flyers are teetering close to a dubious distinction: two 10-game losing streaks in the same season.

After a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday in Elmont, N.Y., the Flyers have dropped eight games in a row (0-6-2). The same two teams will battle again Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia hasn't been victorious since a 3-2 overtime win against the expansion Seattle Kraken on Dec. 29.

From Nov. 18-Dec. 8, the Flyers dropped 10 in a row (0-8-2), which ultimately cost head coach Alain Vigneault his job. Interim head coach Mike Yeo had some mild success early before the current skid.

"I think, obviously, we know that we need a win, and you start playing to think about only the win," Yeo said. "You start thinking about only that result. Quite often, you forget about that one little thing that you have to do right at that moment. It's not easy."

The Flyers looked flat for large stretches Monday, especially on a pair of power plays. Even on a night when goaltender Martin Jones kept Philadelphia in the game with some stellar saves, the Flyers simply didn't produce enough offense to help.

The result was another loss in what's turning out to be a lost season.

"We have to play a full, 60-minute game," Philadelphia defenseman Cam York said. "This is a good league. There are good players, and if you take a shift off, they're good enough to put it in the back of the net. For us, every guy has to give 100 percent every shift, and it has to be like that for 60 minutes."

The Islanders head into the Tuesday rematch with four victories in their past five games.

Brock Nelson led the way Monday with a goal and an assist, and goaltender Ilya Sorokin stopped 26 shots. Sorokin is 5-1-1 in his past seven starts, and backup Semyon Varlamov has two wins in his past three starts, making at least 35 saves in each game.

"They've been fantastic back there," New York defenseman Andy Greene said of the two goaltenders. "They've just been playing really well. They give us a lot of confidence. It's on us to give them some support there and make their nights as easy as possible, too."

The Islanders, who are tied for the fewest games played in the league largely because of COVID-19 issues, will face the Flyers three times in 11 days. The teams will meet again in New York on Jan. 25.

Though reaching the playoffs seems unlikely for the last-place Islanders, they can continue to pile up points against the reeling Flyers.

"I don't think it's overwhelming at all," Islanders center Mathew Barzal said of the team's postseason prospects. "We know we have a ton of games in hand. We know there's 50 or so games left in the season. Also, we've been in situations before where we've been down or out of a playoff spot and battled our way back. This team has got a lot of resilience and a lot of character."

By claiming the first meeting of the season against the Flyers on Monday, the Islanders have won six in a row against Philadelphia, though four of those games extended beyond regulation.

--Field Level Media

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