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Islanders vs. Flyers: 2nd Round breakdown, schedule, predictions

The Islanders face the Flyers in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting Monday. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders 1st Line (Playoff stats in italics)

  • LW- Anders Lee: 9 games, 3 goals, 0 assists
  • C- Mathew Barzal: 9 games, 3 G, 4 A
  • RW- Jordan Eberle: 9 games, 3 G, 2 A

Flyers 1st Line

  • LW- Claude Giroux: 9 games, 0 G, 4 A
  • C- Sean Couturier: 9 games, 0 G, 5 A
  • RW- Jakub Voracek: 8 games, 4 G, 4 A

Advantage: Flyers Based on the postseason alone, the partnership of Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle would give the Islanders the advantage. But the playmaking abilities of Philadelphia’s trio still makes them one of the most dangerous groups in hockey, even if they’ve been misfiring for a majority of the postseason.

 

Islanders 2nd Line

  • LW- Anthony Beauvillier: 9 games, 6 G, 3 A
  • C- Brock Nelson: 9 games, 3 G, 4 A
  • RW- Josh Bailey: 9 games, 2 G, 8 A

Flyers 2nd Line

  • LW- Joel Farabee: 7 games, 3 G, 1 A
  • C- Kevin Hayes: 9 games, 1 G, 6 A
  • RW- Travis Konecny: 9 games, 0 G, 3 A

Advantage: Islanders The Islanders’ second line has been their hottest line this postseason. Only three skaters in the NHL that haven’t started their second-round series have more assists than Josh Bailey this postseason while Anthony Beauvillier’s six goals are tied for most amongst all players in the league.

 

Islanders 3rd Line

  • LW- Derick Brassard: 8 games, 0 G, 3 A
  • C- Jean-Gabriel Pageau: 9 games, 4 G, 2 A
  • RW- Leo Komarov: 6 games, 0 G, 1 A

Flyers 3rd Line

  • LW- James Van Riemsdyk: 6 games, 0 G, 0 A
  • C- Derek Grant: 9 games, 0 G, 2 A
  • RW- Scott Laughton: 9 games, 3 G, 2 A

Advantage: Islanders Both third lines are hard-pressed for offense, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s two-way play gives the Islanders a top-six talent to trot out a more consistent, system-first unit for New York.

 

Islanders 4th Line

  • LW- Matt Martin: 9 games, 2 G, 0 A
  • C- Casey Cizikias: 9 games, 0 G, 1 A
  • RW- Cal Clutterbuck: 8 games, 1 G, 0 A

Flyers 4th Line

  • LW- Michael Raffl: 5 games, 3 G, 1 A
  • C- Nate Thompson: 9 games, 0 G, 1 A
  • RW- Tyler Pitlick: 9 games, 1 G, 1 A

Advantage: Islanders Until proven otherwise, the Islanders will always have the edge when it comes to their fourth line — considered by many to be the best in hockey. This is their identity line, which embodies Barry Trotz’s hard-nosed style of play. 

 

Islanders Defense

  • Adam Pelech (2 A, +4) – Ryan Pulock (1 G, 5 A, +4)
  • Devon Toews (4 A, +4) – Scott Mayfield (2 A, +7)
  • Nick Leddy (2 G, 1 A, +9) – Andy Greene (2 A, +6)

Flyers Defense

  • Ivan Provarov (1 G, 3 A, +4) – Matt Niskanen (+2)
  • Travis Sanheim (1 G, 3 A, +4) – Philippe Myers (2 G, +8)
  • Robert Hagg (1 A, -1) – Justin Braun (-3)

Advantage: Islanders The Islanders are coming off a series in which they limited the powerful Washington Capitals to just three even-strength goals over five games. They’re one of the most difficult groups to break down in the entire league, and it shows by limiting the Florida Panthers and Capitals to an average of 1.67 goals per game this postseason.

 

Islanders Goaltending

  • Semyon Varlamov
  • Playoff stats: 9 games, 7-2-0, 1.67 GAA, .934 SV%

Flyers Goaltending

  • Carter Hart
  • Playoff stats: 8 games, 6-2-0, 1.71 GAA, .943 SV%

Advantage: Flyers It was already a foregone conclusion that Carter Hart was going to be one of the next big things in net for the Flyers and the NHL. But the 22-year-old is already proving it this postseason.

While Varlamov’s numbers are superb, it’s more of a byproduct of the Islanders’ defense in front of him while Hart has had to bail the Flyers out more often than not. 

 

Series Prediction: Islanders in 6

While the Flyers are the East’s No. 1 seed, the Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. Their organized defense ensures that they can stay in almost every game and if they score at least three goals in a game, it’s usually a lock for them. 

The Flyers could tip the scales if the first line and its sputtering power play can get going — special teams is one of the Islanders’ only Achilles heels this postseason. But the Islanders look too tough to break down right now, especially after Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals came up empty against them. 

 

Islanders vs. Flyers series schedule

  • Game 1- Monday, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports
  • Game 2- Wednesday, 3 p.m., NBC Sports
  • Game 3- Thursday, 7 p.m., NBC Sports
  • Game 4- Saturday, 12 p.m., NBC
  • Game 5 (if necessary)- Aug. 31, TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary)- Sept. 2, TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary)- Sept. 3, TBD

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