Elliott stops 29 shots, Flyers beat Islanders 4-1
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — With the Philadelphia Flyers playing without Jakub Voracek, Brian Elliott made sure they didn’t miss the injured star forward.
Elliott stopped 29 shots and the Flyers beat New York 4-1 Sunday, helping knock the Islanders out of first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim, Scott Laughton and Sean Couturier each scored and Claude Giroux had two assists for Philadelphia. The Flyers are 4-0-1 in their last five games to move within five points of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference.
“I thought our guys did a lot of good stuff,” Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon said. “I thought overall, real strong jump defensively. When it looked like they were going to get an open shot we had guys who were already at the net front. I talked about, last week, about defending from the inside to the outside. We did a real good job of that.”
Elliott lost his shutout bid when Adam Pelech scored with 4:45 left. He had 13 saves in the second period as the Islanders pressed to get back in the game, and got his ninth win of the season and third in his last four starts.
“We needed him to come through with a couple big saves,” Konecny said. “That’s a lot of offensive power coming out of there. He did a great job and kudos to our D group to stick with it tonight, and not give them much.”
The Flyers were forced to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen with Voracek out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. The Czech forward been a game-time decision, but was ruled out of the game after undergoing an MRI, Gordon said.
Philadelphia’s Nolan Patrick then left the game early in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Patrick took a shot by Cal Clutterbuck off his head and left the ice with the help of a team trainer.
Robin Lehner made 10 saves in 23:18 of work before Islanders coach Barry Trotz pulled him the the second period. Thomas Greiss made 12 saves in relief.
New York, which has lost three of its last four games, began the day tied with Washington atop the Metropolitan with 81 points. The Capitals beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden earlier Sunday to surge ahead.
“We have our backs against the wall a bit here,” Islanders captain Anders Lee said. “We’ve had a tough stretch and we just have to find a way to stick together, have each other’s backs and continue to move forward. This is a bad time to lose hockey games, but we have no choice but to rally.”
The Flyers jumped to 1-0 lead 8:21 into the game. Konecny was able to drive by Islanders defender Scott Mayfield and put the puck past Lehner for his 21st of the season. Radko Gudas picked up his 100th career NHL point with an assist on the play,
Philadelphia extended the lead to two goals when Sanheim was able to put a loose puck past Lehner with 5:01 left int ye first. Sanheim’s initial shot was stopped by the goalie, but the rebound sat in the slot and he was able to gain control of the puck and score.
Laughton gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead 3:18 in the second when he scored off his own rebound. Couturier’s 27th goal of the year made it 4-0 with 4:46 left in the middle period.
Clutterbuck suffered an upper-body injury of his own later in the game and missed the third period. Trotz did not have an update on Clutterbuck after the game.
NOTES: Voracek had nine points (three goals, six assists) in his last four games. ... Islanders F Matt Martin missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Martin is listed as day-to-day. ... Gordon faced the Islanders as an NHL head coach for the first time since New York fired him on Nov. 15, 2010. Gordon coached the Islanders for two-plus seasons and had a 64-94-23 record during that time. ... The Islanders scratched F Tom Kuhnhackl, D Thomas Hickey, D Luca Sbisa and D Dennis Seidenberg. . The Flyers scratched D Samuel Morin.
Islanders: Host Ottawa on Tuesday night.
Flyers: Host Washington on Wednesday night.