NEW YORK -- Ties are long gone in the National Hockey League, so somebody had to win Sunday's game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. Finally, the Flyers figured, why not us?
The Flyers spotted the Islanders a quick two-goal lead before scoring five unanswered goals on their way to a 5-2 win in a regular-season finale at Barclays Center that had all the ambiance of a preseason opener.
"It probably had more of an exhibition atmosphere out there," Flyers center R.J. Umberger said. "We didn't have much to play for either."
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Any suspense that might have been attached to the makeup of a game postponed by a blizzard Jan. 23 disappeared Saturday, when the Flyers clinched the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1.
Regardless of Sunday's outcome, the Flyers (41-27-14) were locked into the Eastern Conference's second wild card and a quarterfinal-round matchup with the top-seeded Washington Capitals.
"I thought our guys did a good job," said rookie Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "We wanted to take kind of a business-like approach."
With the loss, the Islanders (45-27-10) enter the playoffs as the first wild card and will face the second seed, the Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers. Had the Islanders won Sunday, they would have moved past the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division and secured a first-round date with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who finished the season as the hottest team (8-2-0 in their last 10 games) in the East.
But in scratching a whopping 12 players -- including their top three scorers in John Tavares, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, all of whom were healthy -- the Islanders made it clear they were content with their playoff positioning.
Even with the loss, the Islanders head into the postseason having won six of their last 10 (6-3-1), a mark bettered only by the Penguins and Panthers (7-3-0). Included in that stretch was a three-game winning streak against the playoff-bound Rangers, Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning.
"We had to win some big games coming down the stretch," Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck said. "I'm always confident in our group."
Of New York's 20 active players, six opened April with the Islanders' AHL affiliate. Left winger Eric Boulton and right winger Steve Bernier were also active after being regular scratches during the season.
The Islanders still seemed as if they might win the game in spite of themselves when Nikolay Kulemin and Matt Martin scored less than four minutes apart in the first.
But the Flyers -- who scratched stars Wayne Simonds and Claude Giroux as well as starting goalie Steve Mason -- tied the game on power-play goals later in the period by Shayne Gostisbehere and Evgeny Medvedev, the latter of whom was inactive for 23 of the previous 26 games.
Michael Raffl's goal 6:38 into the second ended up being the game-winner. There were Islanders fans seen cheering the Flyers goals, and whomever operated the in-house sound system seemed to be acknowledging the weirdness of the evening when the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" -- which starred Philadelphia native Will Smith -- played in between the second and third periods.
Two more regular scratches -- Scott Laughton and Umberger -- capped the scoring in the third period. Laughton didn't play in eight of the previous nine games while Umbarger sat the previous 23 games.
"I think the way the game started 2-0, we were like 'uh oh, this might be an ugly one for us,'" Umbarger said. "I don't think there was much intensity on both ends, but it's good to be on the winning side."
Goalie Michal Neuvirth, making his first appearance in 13 games, recorded 15 saves.
Thomas Greiss started in goal for the Islanders and made seven saves before giving way to Christopher Gibson, who recorded 15 saves and was saddled with the loss.
"Obviously not today, but we're playing some of our best hockey entering the playoffs," Martin said. "We know the talent we have and the kind of team we can be. We just need to prove it."
NOTES: Among the announced crowd of 14,244 were New York Mets pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Logan Verrett. Howie Rose, who called the Mets' 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the day, made it to Barclays Center in time for his role as the Islanders' television play-by-play announcer. ... LW Michael Raffl was the only Flyers player active for all 82 games. RW Wayne Simmonds was active for every game except the finale. ... With C Frans Nielsen and D Nick Leddy scratched after playing in the first 81 games the Islanders had nobody play all 82 games. ... The Islanders and Flyers made the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 2003-04 and the 18th time overall. The teams made the playoffs in the same season 14 straight times from 1974-75 through 1987-88.