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National Hockey League
NY Islanders 4, Philadelphia 0
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 5, 2020
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Francis Charron, Wes McCauley
Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Matt MacPherson
Attendance: N/A

It took 9,976 days, not to mention three series wins in the midst of the strangest Stanley Cup tournament of all-time, but the New York Islanders are finally headed back to the conference finals.

Scott Mayfield, Andy Greene, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier all scored and Thomas Greiss -- starting for just the second time this postseason -- stopped all 16 shots he faced in authoring his first playoff shutout as the Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-0, in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series in Toronto on Saturday night.

The sixth-seeded Islanders will face the second-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference finals, scheduled to begin Monday night in Edmonton. It is New York's first trip to the NHL's version of the final four in more than 27 years, when it reached the then-Wales Conference finals by upsetting the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in a Game 7 in the Patrick Division finals on May 14, 1993.

Goalie Carter Hart made 22 saves for the top-seeded Flyers, who were seeking the franchise's first Stanley Cup since 1975.

The long-awaited trip to the conference finals is the latest twist in a roller-coaster season for the Islanders, who set a franchise record with a 17-game point streak from Oct. 12 through Nov. 23, but fell into ninth place in the Eastern Conference with their seventh straight loss on Mar. 10 -- two days before the regular season ended due to the pandemic.

But few teams returned from the pause in better shape than the Islanders, who not only got defenseman Adam Pelech (Achilles) back but also got plenty of practice time for trade deadline acquisitions Greene and Jean-Gabriel Pageau to coalesce with their teammates.

The Islanders beat the Florida Panthers in four games in a qualifying round series before eliminating the Washington Capitals in five games in the quarterfinals. The drought probably lasted a few days longer than New York would have liked against the Flyers, who forced a Game 7 by winning Games 5 and 6 in overtime.

But the Islanders were never threatened Saturday.

Mayfield, whose turnover off a broken stick led to Ivan Provorov scoring the game-winning goal in the second overtime Thursday night, atoned when he opened the scoring with his first postseason goal at 9:27 of the first period. Fellow defenseman Greene doubled the lead fewer than four minutes later and Nelson made it 3-0 with 8:34 left in the second.

Hart was pulled with about seven minutes left, but Beauvillier ended any doubt by scoring an empty netter with 6:18 to go.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
NY Islanders   Philadelphia
Brock Nelson 3 Points N/A
Brock Nelson 1 Goals N/A
Brock Nelson 2 Assists N/A
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Thomas Greiss 1.000 Save Percentage Carter Hart .880
Thomas Greiss 16 Saves Carter Hart 22
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
NY Islanders 26 4 0-4 2-2 9 21
Philadelphia 16 0 0-2 4-4 13 30
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against Tampa Bay. The Islanders have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .438 after a loss.