The NY Islanders have done just about everything right since the NHL’s Return To Play. As of this writing, the Islanders have won 11- of-14 games in the Bubble, dominating several top teams. The Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals had 168 combined points in the regular season, and the Isles sent them both home.
NY is one game away from kicking Philadelphia out of Canada too, leaving the Flyers pondering what might have been. If the Islanders succeed, they will have eliminated the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division to reach the Conference Finals. The Isles are on an incredible run, and they’re favored to win Game 5 Tuesday. Current NHL betting odds on our sportsbook list the Flyers (-260) as 1 ½ goal underdogs.
The Flyers aced the round-robin seeding tournament and then struggled to eradicate the Montreal Canadiens in six games. Carter Hart has generally played brilliantly in goal for Philadelphia, but the offense has been slow to score goals. The Flyers don’t have a lot of time to work out the kinks. Philadelphia has 60 minutes of ice time to find a way to extend their postseason, thereby earning a Game 6.
Series Schedule (NYI Lead 3-1)
Monday, Aug. 24: Islanders 4, Flyers 0
Wednesday Aug. 26: Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (OT)
Thursday, Aug. 27: Islanders 3, Flyers 1
Saturday, Aug. 29: Islanders 3, Flyers 2
Tuesday, Sept. 1: Islanders vs Flyers, 7 p.m. – NBCSN
Thursday, Sept. 3: Flyers vs Islanders, TBD
Saturday, Sept. 5: Islanders vs Flyers, TBD
How Did We Get Here?
In Game 1, Semyon Varlamov blanked the Flyers and the Islanders won 4-0. Just 6:06 into the contest, defenseman Andy Greene made it 1-0 on a slapper from inside the blue line. No more goals were scored until the third period when the Islanders exploded for three in less than 10 minutes. No power-play goals were scored.
The Flyers evened the series in Game 2, surviving a collapse to scrape out a 4-3 victory in OT. Philadelphia came out with all guns blazing, scoring three goals in the first period to jump out in front 3-0. The Islanders chipped away, while G Thomas Greiss came in to hold the Flyers in check. Isles’ C Jean-Gabriel Pageau tied the game at three with 2:09 to play in regulation, scoring off a Philly turnover. The Flyers pounced quickly in overtime, scoring on a deflected shot from the point by defenseman Phillippe Myers. Myers’ shot nicked the stick of the Islanders’ Anders Lee on the way, skittering past a perplexed Greiss. The Flyers narrowly escaped, winning 4-3.
After being postponed in support of the racial justice movement, Game 3 opened with Philadelphia striking first. RW Tyler Pitlick fired the puck through traffic to get past Varlamov with 5:42 left in the first period. It would be the only goal that the Flyers would score on Varlamov this night. The Islanders proceeded to outwork the Flyers, scoring three even-strength goals to win the game 3-1.
Game 4 was a tight contest, featuring a battle of backup netminders. Greiss stopped 36 shots for the Islanders, and Brian Elliott made 30 saves for the Flyers. Both teams scored in the second period, and the game was tied 1-1 heading into the third.
The Islanders took the lead for good 7:19 into the third period with more postseason heroics from Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Pageau smacked in a rebound off his own shot, tapping it five-hole on Elliott. Then Isles C Brock Nelson scored his second goal of the game on a sweet give-and-go with 8:48 remaining. Flyers D Ivan Provorov made it interesting by flipping a shot past Greiss from inside the blue line with 1:04 on the clock, but the Islanders held on to win 3-2. The Flyers are now on the brink of elimination.
Game 5, Betting Trends to Consider
Those of you who placed wagers on the Islanders based on my preview for this series are poised to collect:
The big question is, what’s the next savvy sports betting score? If you feel that the Isles are serious contenders to win it all, then get ahead of that action now. Our current odds to win the Stanley Cup show the Islanders at +400, but that will shift once they advance. Now is the time to lock in the most lucrative moneyline payout possible for yourself. A winning bet of $250 on that pick puts an extra $1,000 in your pocket.
If you had a premonition that the Flyers would make an epic comeback to win the series, that would be a nice payout, too. NHL Series Pricing lists the Flyers moneyline at +700, so a longshot wager of $50 on that outcome would yield a gain of $350. I wouldn’t suggest laying that money down, though. You’d be better off putting $1,000 on the Islanders (-1000) to win the series, so you get a 10% return on your money.
It’s win or go home for the Flyers against the Islanders. Game 5 – Tonight 7P ET NBCSN
— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) September 1, 2020