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Nelson scores in OT to lift Islanders to 4-3 win over Flyers

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Brock Nelson scored 1:25 into overtime and the New York Islanders preserved their playoff hopes with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.

Anders Lee, Bo Horvat and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who moved within four points of Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York has two more games remaining on their schedule than the Flyers.

“We were approaching this game like it was a do-or-die scenario for us just given that this is a team specifically that we’re chasing,” Nelson said. “We need the points.”

Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 shots to help the Islanders get their third win in 11 games.

Nelson scored after a turnover by Morgan Frost in his own zone for his 30th goal of the season, tyring him with Horvat for the team lead.

Frost, Noah Cates and Travis Sanheim had goals for the Flyers, who have lost three straight and eight of their last 10.

Frost forced overtime when he scored on a rebound with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to secure an all-important point for the Flyers, who are clinging to the final playoff spot.

“No one was happy when that one went in because we knew exactly what it meant,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said. “But we just kept the focus and we scored a big one. … We might not be happy to give them one point today, but we are probably going to be happy maybe down the road to have two points.”

Sam Ersson started and gave up two goals on six shots in the first period. He was replaced by Ivan Fedotov, who was added to the Flyers roster last week after having his KHL contract terminated after his SKA St. Petersburg team was eliminated from the playoffs in the top Russian hockey league. The 6-foot-7 Fedotov made his NHL debut by coming off the bench to start the second period and had 15 of his 24 saves in the period.

“There are certain people that don’t have a clue how to play or don’t have it in them to play in these types of situations,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “This is why I’m glad we’re playing them. We have to figure things out as far as what we’re going to become as a team here. That was embarrassing in the second period for the Philadelphia Flyers uniform. Embarrassing.”

He was challenged right away and made a glove save on a breakaway against Matthew Barzal early in the second period, prompting a standing ovation from the Philadelphia fans.

Fedotov became the fifth goalie to play for the Flyers this season, a situation that was made unstable after Carter Hart took a leave of absence from the team days prior to being charged by London, Ontario, police with sexual assault dating back to an alleged incident in 2019 involving members of the 2018 Hockey Canada World Junior Championship team.

“I’m totally impressed (with Fedotov),” Tortorella said. “I put him in a hell of a spot – and he was the only player who played in the second period.”

Tortorella did give the team high marks for how they played in the third period, one in which they outshot the Islanders 19-3.

UP NEXT

Islanders: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.

Flyers: At Buffalo on Friday night.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

By ANTHONY SANFILIPPO
Associated Press

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