TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 24: Andy Greene #4 of the New York Islanders is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers at 6:06 during the first period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 24, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders open up their series against the Philadelphia Flyers with a convincing Game 1 victory.

Danny Small

The New York Islanders are scorching hot and the Philadelphia Flyers got a taste of that on Monday night. An early goal in the first period set the tone for the Isles and if not for Carter Hart heroics, the Flyers could have easily gone down two or three goals.

The second period was a different story. The Flyers were the aggressors, but couldn’t crack the stingy Isles defense. Semyon Varlamov was brilliant, but more on him later.

Midway through the third period, the first line put the game away with some beautiful passing punctuated by a clinical finish from Anders Lee. The Captain’s smile says it all.

The Isles added an empty netter shortly thereafter en route to a 4-0 win in Game 1. Here are three takeaways from the victory.

Islanders Draw First Blood Again

For the third consecutive series, New York draws first blood. It was a grind-it-out type win in the Qualifying Round against the Florida Panthers and a come-from-behind offensive explosion to shock the Washington Capitals.

This one was more of the grind-it-out variety. The Islanders were the aggressors from the start but could only muster up one goal through two periods. The Flyers came heavy as soon as they fell behind, but a ridiculous block from Andy Greene kept Philly off the scoresheet.

Blocked shots, hits, and timely goals were aplenty on Monday. The Isles are consistently coming out of the gates hot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.

Lou Lamoriello’s Fingerprints

This win has Lou Lamoriello‘s fingerprints all over it. The first two goals were scored by Andy Greene and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, both trade deadline pickups by Lamoriello. Greene turned back the clock in the first period with a goal and some heady defensive plays.

The 37-year-old was the best player on the ice which is wild considering he might not even be in the lineup if not for Johnny Boychuk’s injury in Game 1 of the Qualifying Round.

While Greene was the star on Monday, Pageau’s been shining bright for a while now. He scored his fifth goal of the postseason by being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of the opportunity.

And last but not least, Varlamov—Lamoriello’s big offseason signing—is turning into a brick wall in net. Monday marks his second consecutive shutout and he’s allowed a measly 15 goals in 10 games. To be fair, it’s nice to play behind a Barry Trotz coached defense, but Varlamov is picking up his game in a big way.

If he’s playing this well, the Isles are tough to beat.

Quick Turnaround

Great win. The Isles should feel good about themselves for a night, but they don’t have long to revel in the glory of a Game 1 victory. They’ll run it back with a back-to-back on Wednesday afternoon (3 p.m. ET) and Thursday night (7 p.m.).

The Flyers are by no means done. If the Isles let up at all they could open the door for Philly to take control of this series. On the flip side, the Isles can all but finish the Flyers off with wins on Wednesday and Thursday.

A Game 1 win is great, but this series is far from over.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

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BKN

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