PHILADELPHIA — Thomas Greiss got the start in goal because he entered with a four-game winning streak and because, as Doug Weight said earlier in the day, “As of late, Thomas has just found ways to make the big save at the big time.”
He did that again Friday, a couple of times. Even though the 5-4 win over the Flyers will not do a ton for his goals-against average, the tenor of the game said more than his statistics. He stopped Nolan Patrick on a penalty shot at 17:01 of the first period and, early in the third, made what might have been a game-saving play. He stopped Travis Konecny on a shorthanded breakaway when a goal would have given the Flyers a three-goal lead.
Soon after that, Jordan Eberle scored on a power play and the Islanders had cut the deficit to one. “When you watch those plays again,” Weight said, “you realize those are the turning points of the game.”
With work to do between games and a tight travel schedule because of an afternoon start Friday, the Islanders flew to Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon and celebrated Thanksgiving as a team at their hotel. “You’d love to be at home, have the day with your family, but this is the next-best thing,” Weight said.
He was pleased that his players didn’t see it as a perfunctory eat-and-run episode. Most of them stayed together in the room set aside for them and watched football together for three or four hours.
Weight added that his team was disciplined at the table. It was the coaches who over-ate.
The last time the Islanders saw Matt Duchene, they didn’t see him for very long. He played only 1 minute, 59 seconds for the Avalanche at Barclays Center on Nov. 5 before he was directed to leave the ice because he had been traded. They might see more of him of him Saturday night when they visit Duchene’s new team, the Senators.
Entering Ottawa’s game against Columbus Friday night, Duchene was pointless and had a minus-eight rating in six games since the deal.