Flyers (+105) @ Islanders (5)
Pick: Islanders -117
On Thursday night, New York tries again to get to its first conference final in 27 years. After the Flyers forced a sixth game with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 5 on Tuesday, the Islanders saw their series lead shrink to 3-2. For most of regulation in Game 5, the Islanders were relying heavily on netminder Semyon Varlamov and found themselves trailing 3-1 early in the third period. A late push from Barry Trotz’s team got the game tied, but the Flyers regrouped in overtime as a Scott Laughton deflection sent us to Game 6. Trotz went on record after Game 4 saying that it was their “worst game to this point in the playoffs,” and that was after a 3-2 win as New York had to bank on a stellar outing from backup goalie Thomas Greiss. Has the momentum in this series changed? It’s possible and a Flyers win would not shock us tonight.
But, we can’t look past the status for the top centers for each team seemingly trending in opposite directions entering Game 6. New York’s Mathew Barzal took a stick to the face late in Game 5, but all signs seem to indicate the electric young Canadian will dress for the Islanders tonight. It’s not looking as optimistic for Sean Couturier for the Flyers, who appeared to suffer some sort of lower body injury finishing a hit, ironically on Barzal, and did not play in the third period