NHL Playoff Bracket 2020: Latest Times, TV Schedule for Stanley Cup Bracket

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2020

Thomas Greiss and the Islanders shut out the Flyers in Game 7.
Thomas Greiss and the Islanders shut out the Flyers in Game 7.Nick Wass/Associated Press

After losing two straight to enter a Game 7, the New York Islanders responded with an emphatic 4-0 victory to eliminate the top-seeded Philadelphia Flyers from the NHL playoffs.

Scott Mayfield and Andy Greene scored in the first period, giving the Isles a valuable early advantage. Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier added goals to ensure there would be no comeback, and Thomas Greiss stopped the 16 shots he faced.

In short, New York dominated.

The Islanders sealed their spot in the Eastern Conference Final to face the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars are ready to challenge the Vegas Golden Knights. The winners of the series will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

While the Stars and Knights are already in Edmonton, the Isles and Lightning will shift from Toronto for this round. Edmonton will also host the Stanley Cup Final.

              

Conference Finals Schedule

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Islanders vs. Lightning

Game 1: Monday, Sep. 7, at 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 2: TBD
Game 3: TBD
Game 4: TBD
Game 5: TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: TBD (if necessary)

              

Stars vs. Golden Knights

Game 1: Sunday, Sep. 6, at 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2: TBD
Game 3: TBD
Game 4: TBD
Game 5: TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: TBD (if necessary)

              

Game 7 Highlights, Reactions

This narrative almost had a considerably different feel.

On the opening shift of Game 7, Sean Couturier threw the puck on net and found Jakub Voracek. Though his redirection evaded Greiss, a friendly post bailed out the Islanders. Perhaps the result would've been the same anyway, but it was a huge relief for New York nonetheless.

Midway through the first period, Mayfield snapped a wrister past Flyers goalie Carter Hart. Devon Toews and Jordan Eberle assisted on the goalMayfield's first of the postseason.

Within four minutes, Greene doubled New York's advantage.

Derick Brassard made it happen. After receiving the puck from Brock Nelson, Brassard followed a slick move with a tremendous pass through traffic to Greene. The blue-liner beat a scrambling Hart to give the Islanders a 2-0 edge.

Greene, 37, became the third-oldest defenseman in NHL history to score in a Game 7, per NHL Public Relations.

Rounding out the scoring for New York, Nelson finished a two-on-one in the second period. And as the Flyers desperately searched for a first goal, Beauvillier's empty-netter in the third period provided the dagger to any hopes of a comeback.

Philly had no answers for a suffocating Islanders defense.

"We all compete for each other. It's a great achievement for the whole team, for fans. I'm happy to help," Greiss said, according to the Associated Press. "It was an unreal game. It was the best defensive game I’ve seen the team play."

While falling behind 3-0 in the first two periods, the Flyers mustered only nine shots on goal. They simply could not expect a better outcome with such a dismal offensive performance.

Couturier acknowledged as much after the game.

"We didn't create enough. We didn't win enough one-on-one battles to get our chances," he said. "It wasn't good enough."

But the Islanders were great. And now, they're headed to the conference finals for the first time in 27 years.

           

Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.