Scott Laughton scored 12:20 into overtime Tuesday night as the Philadelphia Flyers staved off elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals by edging the New York Islanders 4-3 in Game 5 at Toronto.
Laughton redirected a slap shot by Ivan Provorov to cap a frantic final 20 or so minutes of hockey in which the Islanders scored twice late in the third to force overtime before both teams traded prime chances in the overtime.
Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday night.
Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Matt Niskanen also scored for the top-seeded Flyers, who are trying to reach the conference finals for the first time since they made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. Goalie Carter Hart made 29 saves.
Mathew Barzal scored in the second while Brock Nelson and Derick Brassard scored 93 seconds apart late in the third for the Islanders, who haven’t been to the conference finals since they made the Wales Conference finals in 1993. Goalie Semyon Varlamov recorded 28 saves.
Barzal opened the scoring 1:20 into the second following a frantic sequence in the Philadelphia crease. Josh Bailey’s shot struck squirted past Hart as the goalie was flattened in the crease by a trio of colliding players — Philadelphia teammates Provorov and Tyler Pitlick and Barzal, who was in between the Flyers players and was hanging on to the top of the net as the puck crossed the red line.
The Flyers tied the score and took the lead in a span of fewer than three minutes late in the period.
Giroux recorded his first goal of the postseason with 4:15 left, when he stuck his stick out and redirected a slap shot from Phillipe Myers.
The Flyers took the lead 2:23 later following a two-on-one that ended when van Riemsdyk took a pass from Laughton and fired a shot off Varlamov’s glove.
The Flyers went ahead by two goals 4:32 into the third when Niskanen’s slap shot from the faceoff circle went under Varlamov’s stick hand.
The Islanders mounted their comeback without Barzal, who left with 4:47 remaining after Giroux accidentally hit him in the face with his stick. Nelson closed the gap to a goal by scoring with 4:14 left before Cal Clutterbuck tucked a pass around the net to Brassard, whose backhand beat Hart with 2:41 to go.
Kevin Hayes almost scored for the Flyers 1:11 into overtime. Devon Toews nearly won it for the Islanders a mere 25 seconds later, and Hart turned back a shot by Nelson at 4:15.
(-Field Level Media)