NHL Bubble Wrap: Unsung heroes shine for Islanders in Game 7 win

NHL Scores
Getty
  • Thomas Greiss replaced Semyon Varlamov as the New York Islanders’ starting goalie and recorded a shutout for the Game 7 win.
  • Two unsung heroes on defense scored big goals to help set the tone early in the game.
  • Another big game for Brock Nelson.

New York Islanders 4, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (Islanders win series 4-3)

This one was not even close. The result was never in doubt. The Islanders put together a complete effort to shut down the Flyers in their 4-0 Game 7 win, limiting them to just 16 shots on goal and never leaving them with a chance. The Islanders were the better team throughout the entire series, and Saturday’s game was perhaps the most convincing win of them all. It puts the Islanders in the Conference Final for the first time in 27 years (it was still the Wales Conference then) where they will face the Tampa Bay Lightning starting on Monday night. That series will take place in Edmonton. Thomas Greiss was the Islanders’ starter, and even though he was not really tested he still stopped every shot he faced to record his first career postseason shutout.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Three Stars

1. Scott Mayfield, New York Islanders. Mayfield does not score a lot of goals for the Islanders (only 14 in 229 career regular season games, and zero in 25 playoff games entering Saturday) but he got the scoring started on Saturday night with a first period goal to give the Islanders the lead. It ended up going in the books as the game-winner. In his 15 minutes of 5-on-5 ice-time the Islanders allowed just three shots on goal. He played a huge role in this win.

2. Andy Greene, New York Islanders. He was the trade deadline acquisition that kind of snuck under the radar, but he made a big contribution on Saturday with a first period goal to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead. Even though it was still early in the game, that goal seemed to be the one that broke the Flyers’ chances and put the Islanders in complete control of the game and series. He scored just two goals during the entire regular season but already has two goals in 15 games during the postseason.

3. Brock Nelson, New York Islanders. He has been fantastic for the Islanders all postseason and picked up another three points on Saturday (goal, two assists), giving him 15 points in 16 games. This is already his fourth multi-point game of the playoffs. His 2019-20 regular season performance was the best of his career, and he has continued that production into the playoffs and been a key cog in the Islanders’ current run.

Highlights of the Night

Some nice passing by the Islander to set up Greene’s first period goal.

Josh Bailey and Nelson made this second period goal look easy.

Mayfield gets things rolling for the Islanders offensively early in the first period.

Factoids

  • This is the 29th series that Lou Lamoriello has won as an NHL general manager. [NHL PR]
  • Greene is the third-oldest defenseman to score a goal in a Game 7 in NHL postseason history. [NHL PR]
  • Thomas Greiss is the second Islanders goalie to ever record a shutout in a Game 7 win. [NHL PR]

Sunday Schedule

Game 1: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. ET, NBC, Livestream

MORE STANLEY CUP COVERAGE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Scroll Down For: