The Islanders buzzed early in their first playoff meeting with the rival Flyers since 1987, withstood a second-period flurry and closed it out with three goals in the third. Greene scored in the first period and Varlamov was sharp all night in his second shutout of the 2020 playoffs and fourth of his postseason career.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Devon Toews scored in the third period. Carter Hart stopped 26 shots for the top-seeded Flyers. The Flyers beat Montreal in six games in the first round, their first playoff series triumph since 2012.
They did it despite being outscored 13-11, thanks to Hart, who had consecutive shutouts and a 1.95 goals-against average. The Islanders have been stingy in the bubble as well, matching a franchise record by allowing fewer than 30 shots in nine straight games. New York knocked out third-seeded Washington in five games after taking out Florida 3-1 in the Stanley Cup qualifiers.
The Islanders had the early jump in the second-round opener. Greene scored 6 minutes in, beating Carter from near the blue line through traffic. The 37-year-old is the 10th player in NHL history to go 10 or more years between playoff goals.
New York outshot Philadelphia 15-4 in the first period, but Carter made some spectacular saves to keep it 1-0. The Flyers came alive in the second, ripping off the first eight shots and 15 in the period. Varlamov stopped them all with good positioning and some spectacular saves.
Pageau put New York up 2-0 3 minutes into the third period, one-timing a pass from Leo Komarov past Carter's glove side. Adam Pelech set up the goal with a hard hit along the boards behind the goal. Lee one-timed Mathew Barzal's nifty cross-ice pass past Hart later the third and Toews scored on a long carom from his own end after Philadelphia pulled Hart for an extra attacker with 7 1/2 minutes left.
Notes: New York RW Cal Clutterbuck was back after missing the clinching game against Washington, but D Johnny Boychuk missed his ninth straight game. ... Flyers RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel returned after missing the final three games against Montreal. ... The Islanders are 5-1 when scoring first in the playoffs.
UP NEXT Game 2 is Wednesday in Toronto.
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