Ending on a high note: Flyers down Isles in playoff tune-up, 5-2

In preparation of their first round playoff matchup with the Washington Capitals, the Flyers rout the New York Islanders Sunday night in the season finale, 5-2. Both the Flyers and Isles did not dress a full line-up tonight as there was little reason to do so since both clubs are headed to the playoffs. The game was sloppy for both teams in terms of coverages and defensive zone assignments, but the game is still one that you have to get through unscathed. Philadelphia will take the 2 points and now prepare for their first round series match-up with the Capitals.The Flyers received goals from Shayne Gostisbehere (17th), Evgeny Medvedev (4th), Michael Raffl (13th), Scott Laughton (7th) and RJ Umberger (2nd) in the win. Raffl added 2 assists to his night, while 4 others had multiple point games as well. Philadelphia opted to rest Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Steve Mason, Sean Couturier and Mark Streit tonight for additional rest, while others players had opportunities to get some playing time and knock off rust. The game had the pace and feels of a preseason matchup and with the game meaning so little it can be difficult to find the motivation to compete but the Flyers owed it to Michal Neuvirth to buckle down.

Speaking of Neuvy, he turned away 15 of 17 shots fired his way in the win as well. Neuvirth was victimized by some coverage breakdowns in front of him and considering he hasn’t played since March 15th without any practice time, having rust was expected. Similarly to Steve Mason, the Flyers owed it to Neuvy to bear down and focus tonight since he was an integral part of the team’s dash to the playoffs. After the first period, the club did just that and Neuvy got better as the game went along too.

Here is tonight’s notable:

Though his second stint with the Philadelphia Flyers has been filled with inconsistency and lots of injuries, I was extremely pleased to see RJ Umberger rewarded with a goal tonight for his professionalism. Anyone that talks Flyers hockey with regularly knows that Umberger was one of my favorite players during his first stint with the team so despite clearly being a shell of the player he once was; it was nice to see him draw back into the lineup one more time.

In terms of what the future holds, the 33 year-old’s time with the Flyers is likely coming to an end this year. With that said he always practiced hard, never made excuses for his ineffective play and never complained when he was punished for that. All in all, Umberger was a pro through it all and I’ll always remember his time with the Flyers as a positive one as he was a quality teammate, despite his own situation with the team being less than ideal.

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