Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders Pick – NHL Playoffs Game 3
2020 NHL Playoffs – Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders (Game 3)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 29th, 7 pm ET
Odds: Full Game Flyers +1.5/-303 Islanders -1.5/+240 | Moneyline +100/-118 | Total 5
Philadelphia was flying high to start Game 2…
The Philadelphia Flyers cashed a winning bet for me on Wednesday as I recommended backing Philadelphia in Game 2 of this series. The Flyers came out strong and led 3-0 after the 1st Period but the NY Islanders got better as the game went on and scored three straight goals to tie the game at 3.
They had the momentum going into OT but the Flyers snatched it back by notching the game-winning goal in OT courtesy of defenseman Philippe Myers in a 4-3 win to tie up the series. With the win, Philadelphia is now a perfect 11-0 in their last 11 games following a loss. Be sure to make note of that phenomenal trend for future reference.
The Flyers needed their top players to perform at a higher level and they certainly got that at least early in the game including from Sean Couturier who finally scored his first goal of the playoffs in the opening period. The Flyers offense has been a concern despite the fact they have advanced to this second round. Philadelphia scored 4 goals in a game for the first time here in the Stanley Cup Playoffs which is a welcome sight for a team that had scored just 10 goals in their first seven playoff games combined prior to yesterday’s victory.
…But the Islanders didn’t abandon ship
The Islanders should take some positives into Game 3 tonight in spite of the OT loss. The Islanders battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game and they outplayed the Flyers for most of the last two periods. The problem was they got too far behind early in the game and they just couldn’t come all the way back.
Isles head coach Barry Trotz made a very savvy and wise move changing goalies in the 1st Period after the Flyers made it 3-0. He wanted to try and change the momentum of the game by pulling Semyon Varlamov from the game and replacing him with Thomas Greiss.
From that point on in the game, New York started to control the play and kept attacking in waves pressuring the Flyers relentlessly in the offensive zone. They finally tied the game in the 3rd Period and forced OT which is when Philadelphia scored the game-winner to escape with a 4-3 win that they appeared to have firm control of after the 1st Period.
The Islanders’ offense continues to show how much improved they are and that they are never out of games. They have the ability to come back from a deficit which they might not have been able to do a season or two ago. Their top-six forwards are as strong as they’ve been in years and they have more forward depth in their bottom-six forwards thanks to Jean-Gabriel Pageau who they acquired at the trade deadline. They also have a very strong, tenacious and hardworking fourth line centered by as well as Casey Cizikis that often gives other teams fits and keeps them stuck in their own zone.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders Pick
Credit to Philadelphia for coming out strong and getting a 3-0 lead early in Game 2 even though they had to hang on for dear life for the 4-3 win in OT to tie up this series. However, the eye test and watching this series as I have for the entirety of the first two games paints a very clear picture. After watching the first six periods of hockey in this series over the course of the first two games, it’s safe to say the NY Islanders have been the better team in four and maybe even five of the six periods excluding the first period of Game 2 earlier this week.
New York has spent more time in the offensive zone for larger portions of the first two games and generated better and more dangerous scoring chances in the process as well. I don’t believe the NY Islanders’ confidence has been shaken at all by the Game 2 loss in OT. New York has lost two previous games during the playoffs and each time they bounced back to win the next game. I bet on Philadelphia in Game 2 because of their unbeaten profile of 11-0 following a loss since January which remained intact but I still think the New York Islanders have been the better team so far. I expect them to win this series as well as Game 3 here on Saturday night and I will back the NY Islanders at a very reasonable -115 price.