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Flyers top Islanders for 16th win in 21 games

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Philadelphia Flyers won for the 16th time in 21 games, defeating the New York Islanders 4-1 at Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.

Brian Elliott made 29 saves for Philadelphia (32-26-8), which moved within five points of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers, who played without forward Jakub Voracek (lower-body injury) and lost center Nolan Patrick to an upper-body injury 4:01 into the game, are 16-3-2 since Jan. 14.

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Islanders highlights]

 

“We managed the puck really well through the neutral zone,” Philadelphia coach Scott Gordon said. “That’s kind of been our Achilles heel when we haven’t played well or we’ve had slow starts or bad periods. Tonight, I thought we did a really good job of that, we were attentive to that.”

Video: PHI@NYI: Couturier knocks Lindblom’s feed past Greiss

Robin Lehner allowed three goals on 13 shots and was pulled during the second period for New York (37-21-7), which fell two points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Thomas Greiss made 12 saves.

The Islanders, who have failed to deliver coach Barry Trotz his 800th NHL win in their first two attempts, are 2-4-1 in their past seven games.

“We haven’t really had much adversity this year, but we’re finding it now,” New York forward Jordan Eberle said. “I guess it’s better to find it now than it would be to find it in the playoffs.”

Travis Konecny gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead when he beat defenseman Scott Mayfield to a loose puck on the left-wing boards and drove hard to the net before snapping a quick shot to the near side past Lehner at 8:21 of the first period.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas had an assist on Konecny’s goal for his 100th NHL point.

Travis Sanheim made it 2-0 at 14:59 after the Islanders failed to clear a rebound in the slot.

Video: PHI@NYI: Sanheim puts home loose puck from the slot

The Flyers chased Lehner 3:18 into the second period when Scott Laughton skated to the net uncontested and roofed a shot to make it 3-0. Sean Couturier gave Philadelphia a 4-0 lead at 15:14 when he redirected Oskar Lindblom‘s feed past Greiss for his 27th goal of the season.

“The first two goals, I thought when Robin is really, really sharp, maybe he comes up with [the saves],” Trotz said. “It was a little bit of [looking for] a spark.”

Adam Pelech scored for New York with 4:45 remaining when he took a pass from Andrew Ladd and stuffed a shot near the crease between Elliott’s skates.

“It’s just little details that we’re getting away from,” Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. “If you correct that, then it’ll be all good. You have to pay attention to them. If you don’t, it’s going to end up just like tonight.”

Patrick was injured at 4:01 of the first period when he was struck on the side of his head by a shot from Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck. Gordon said Patrick “felt fine” after the game.

 

They said it

“We’re already short up front, and then [Patrick] gets hurt early, but I thought [Elliott] made some big saves early, kept us in the game, and then we got a few bounces our way. Next thing you know, we’re up two goals and I thought after that we played a solid defensive game. We didn’t give up a whole lot.” — Flyers center Sean Couturier

“These games happen. Obviously, it doesn’t make it any easier, it doesn’t make it any more OK. Right now we’ve got a little bit of adversity, but we’ll stick together and figure it out.” — Islanders captain Anders Lee

 

Need to know

Gordon said Voracek had an MRI and is waiting for the results. The Flyers played 11 forwards (10 after Patrick’s injury) and seven defensemen. … Philadelphia is 23-2-2 when leading after the second period. … Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov was plus-4. … It was the first time the Islanders trailed by three goals since a 6-2 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 6. … Clutterbuck sustained an upper-body injury and did not play in the third period, and center Casey Cizikas left in the third because of the flu. … Ladd returned after being a healthy scratch for a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday. He has an assist in each of the three games he’s played since returning from a lower-body injury on Feb. 26. … Islanders left wing Matt Martin missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury.

 

What’s next

Flyers: Host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS)

Islanders: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (Nassau Coliseum; 7 p.m. ET; MSG+, TSN5, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Elliott makes 29 saves, Flyers top Islanders

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