Brock Nelson scored shortly beyond the midway point of the second period Monday night for the New York Islanders, who never relinquished the lead in a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Elmont, N.Y.
Coach Barry Trotz returned to the Islanders’ bench after missing the previous three games, which were played over a 15-day span. He traveled home to Manitoba following the death of his mother on Jan. 1 and was placed in COVID-19 protocol on Jan. 10.
Casey Cizikas, Anthony Beauvillier and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who have won seven of 11 (7-3-1) since an 11-game losing streak from Nov. 7-Dec. 5. New York’s Cal Clutterbuck logged two assists, Nelson also had an assist, and goalie Ilya Sorokin made 26 saves.
Travis Konecny scored his 100th career goal in unusual fashion for the Flyers, who have lost eight straight (0-6-2) — their second skid of at least eight games this season. Philadelphia lost 10 straight (0-8-2) from Nov. 18-Dec. 8.
Flyers goalie Martin Jones recorded 27 saves.
Nelson broke a scoreless tie when he took a drop pass from Josh Bailey, wound up, paused until Rasmus Ristolainen turned out of his shooting line and then fired a shot beyond Jones’ glove at 11:44 of the middle period.
The Islanders’ patience was rewarded again fewer than three minutes later, when Clutterbuck pounced on a loose puck behind the Flyers’ net and passed off the boards to Robin Salo. The rookie defenseman shuffled the puck for several seconds and deked a shot before firing a shot that glanced off Cizikas — who was one of four players in front of Jones — and into the net at 14:28.
Konecny scored his milestone goal with at 17:12 of the second period. His pass into the crease glanced off the shoulder of Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson and sailed up and past Sorokin at eye level as the New York goalie awkwardly stuck his stick out a moment too late. Konency grinned as he exchanged high-fives with teammates.
The Islanders regained a two-goal lead 4:44 into the third, when Nelson and Oliver Wahlstrom each got a stick on the puck in the crease before Beauvillier — the lone New York player in a group that included four Flyers — put back the rebound.
Martin added an empty-netter with 1:23 left.
–Field Level Media