Varlamov, pulled in Game 2, shines in Isles win


TORONTO — Matt Martin and Leo Komarov scored in the second period as the New York Islanders rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Saturday night, taking a 2-1 lead in their conference semifinal series.

Anders Lee also scored, and Semyon Varlamov, a few days removed from being pulled in Game 2 during the first period, had 26 saves.

The playoffs resumed after a two-day break to protest racial injustice, the latest twist in an unprecedented, pandemic-halted season. Game 4 is Sunday night.

Tyler Pitlick scored for the Flyers in the first period, and Carter Hart had 26 saves, but the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference went long stretches of Game 3 searching for puck possession and scrambling around Hart in their own zone.

Pitlick’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle flashed past the glove of a screened Varlamov glove to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead 5:42 into the game. The play was set up by a puck battle behind the net won by Scott Laughton, who was able to power his way out and drop the pass off to Pitlick.

New York surged in the second period.

After a couple of near-misses by Mathew Barzal early, the Islanders’ center shoveled a pass out from the back boards to a wide-open Martin on the doorstep for the tying goal at the 7:12 mark.

Komarov gave the Islanders their first lead when his shot in heavy traffic trickled through Hart’s pads and over the line with 6 seconds left in the middle period.

Lee put the Islanders up 3-1 on a power play early in the third when his shot in traffic bounced past Hart.

The Islanders, who defeated Florida and Washington to make this round, improved to 9-3 in the Toronto bubble.

The Flyers pulled the goalie on a late power play, but Varlamov held up to the 6-on-4 attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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