The schedule appeared to finally catch up to the Islanders for long stretches of the first two periods.
But another dominant third period — with goals 22 seconds apart and three goals overall — and voila, the Islanders won their fourth straight and for the 13th time in 17 games. They beat the struggling Flyers, 5-2, on Saturday at UBS Arena with both teams playing on back-to-back nights.
“We’ve been rebounding and we’ve been able to climb out of holes and come back,” said Zach Parise, who tied the score at 2-2 with a power-play backhander at the crease at 16:38 of the second period and made it 5-2 with another man-advantage goal at 11:57 of the third period.
“Maybe tonight wasn’t our best, but we had a good third and we were able to get away with it again.”
The Islanders (15-8-0), completing a stretch of four games in six nights, have outscored opponents 35-19 in the third period. Defenseman Ryan Pulock had four assists and Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves.
Brock Nelson, who also had the third-period winner in Friday night’s 3-2 win in Columbus, made it 3-2 from the left circle at 2:57 of the third period. Anthony Beauvillier, from the slot, extended it to 4-2 at 3:19.
“That’s a good week,” Nelson said. “It’s nice to cap it off the right way.”
The Flyers (7-10-5), who have seven regulars missing because of injuries, had their skid extended to 0-7-3.
Felix Sandstrom, who relieved Carter Hart in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the visiting Penguins, stopped 18 shots against the Islanders.
The teams, who will meet again Tuesday night in Philadelphia, had a combined 46 penalty minutes in the third period. The main scrum came at 16:44 as Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov caught Kevin Hayes with a clean check, which resulted in Oliver Wahlstrom fighting Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo. Cal Clutterbuck screamed at Flyers heavyweight Nicolas Deslauriers from the Islanders’ bench as the latter was escorted off the ice after receiving a 10-minute misconduct.
That’s two fights in four games for Wahlstrom.
“I wasn’t even expecting it,” he said. “I just saw Romy went down and everyone kind of skated over to see if he was good and then I turned around and [DeAngelo’s] gloves are in the air and I’ve got to protect myself.
“I kind of challenged myself to be uncomfortable this summer and I trained MMA with [Matt Martin] and Pulock. It’s a good little technique to have.”
The Islanders, missing right wing Kyle Palmieri (upper body) for a third straight game as he remains day-to-day, took a 1-0 lead on defenseman Adam Pelech’s blast at 4:33 of the first period. But the Islanders were held to two shots from midway through the first period to midway through the second.
Lukas Sedlak tied it at 1-1 at 15:27 of the first as he skated past Casey Cizikas. Joel Farabee made it 2-1 at 9:28 of the second period on a long rebound of Hayes’ shot.
Bellows returns. Kieffer Bellows, claimed off waivers from the Islanders on Oct. 27, logged 15:31 with one shot as he skated on top-line center Morgan Frost’s left wing along with Owen Tippett. Bellows, selected 19th overall in 2016, played in the Islanders’ season opener but was a healthy scratch for six straight games before being placed on waivers.
“It’s weird looking across the ice and not wearing the blue and orange,” Bellows said. “They gave me my first opportunity to play in the NHL and I can never thank them enough for that.”