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Flyers, Foerster Stave Off Islanders, Win In Shootout, 1-0

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Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers
Sam Ersson recorded his second career NHL shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the New York Islanders in the shootout, 1-0. (Photo: AP)

After losing 3-1 to them on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers squared off with the New York Islanders again on Saturday. The Flyers’ defense didn’t falter this time around, in what was another defensive battle. Ultimately, the Flyers won 1-0 after a lengthy shootout at UBS Arena.

Philadelphia was caught sleepwalking early in the first period, getting outshot 5-0 through the first five minutes. It felt like the Orange & Black were destined for a repeat of Friday’s New York Rangers game.

Instead, they picked it up, reversed course, and finished the period with a 12-6 advantage in shots.

Ilya Sorokin, who started for the Islanders against the Flyers on Wednesday, was equally as difficult to solve on Saturday. Despite getting peppered as the first period drew to a close, Sorokin was square to the task with timely saves on Nic Deslauriers and Ryan Poehling.

The second period brought much of the same, though the shot differential was much closer at 12-9. After starting the middle frame, Ryan Poehling sat until the final two minutes of the period, and didn’t appear to be because of injury.

This allowed for more ice time for Morgan Frost – who returned to the lineup – and Noah Cates.

This Flyers Penalty Kill

Owen Tippett and Travis Konecny had prime scoring chances in alone on Sorokin in the contest, though Konecny fired over the net on his short-handed breakaway. Tippett’s power move created something out of nothing, but the Russian netminder followed his chip shot attempt the whole way.

Through the third period, Konecny and the rest of the penalty killers dominated play. The Philadelphia Flyers actually outshot the Islanders 3-0 whilst shorthanded, while New York stumbled their way to going 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

This fringe top-10 penalty kill unit continues to haggle their opponents at every turn.

Stay Frosty

Apparently, Frost and Bobby Brink can’t co-exist in the Philadelphia Flyers‘ lineup. No matter; that’s neither here nor there.

No. 48 played one of his most complete games of the season, if not the most. This comes one night after head coach John Tortorella and veteran Cam Atkinson lamented the lack of concentration and discipline defensively.

Frost, known more for his offense than his defense, played a very detailed game. The 24-year-old was clicking at both ends of the ice with Atkinson and Owen Tippett, and was constantly on or around the puck.

And although the Flyers went 0-for-1 on their lone power play attempt, Frost was the catalyst on the half-wall, moving pucks up high and down low. It was a much-improved effort with the man advantage compared to the last few games.

Overtime

Sorokin stopped all 37 Philadelphia Flyers shots heading into overtime, while Sam Ersson kept the Islanders scoreless on 21 attempts.

Philadelphia and New York traded chances, with Simon Holmstrom and Bo Horvat missing the net for the Islanders. Travis Sanheim had a pair of attempts come up short, while Sorokin batted away Konecny’s breakaway attempt.

Ersson made two strong saves as overtime wound down, as Horvat’s one-on-one shot attempt went off his stick. Mat Barzal cut to Ersson’s near post seconds later, but the Swede shut the door on that attempt, too. Overtime wasn’t enough for the two teams, so then came the skills competition.

After three scoreless rounds, Tyson Foerster finally beat Sorokin on a backhand-forehand move, going upstairs for the game-winner.

Sorokin finished the game with 40 saves, whilst Ersson had 25. This was the second shutout of Ersson’s NHL career.

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