NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 30th (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (2-6-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (3-3-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their fourth consecutive victory this evening, as they welcome the struggling New York Islanders for tonight's test at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers started the season on a six-game losing streak (0-3-3), but have since rattled off three straight wins. Philadelphia began the current hot stretch with a home-and-home sweep of New Jersey and followed that up with a blowout victory Tuesday in Atlanta.
Antero Niittymaki made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Flyers continued their domination of the Thrashers with the 7-0 win at Philips Arena.
Niittymaki is now 10-0-0 in his career against Atlanta and posted his fourth career shutout for the Flyers, who have won their past 11 games against Atlanta and have not lost to the Thrashers since a 6-5 overtime setback on November 18, 2005.
Simon Gagne had two goals and two assists while Mike Knuble and Joffrey Lupul each scored twice for Philadelphia. Glen Metropolit added a goal and two assists, while Mike Richards and Luca Sbisa each chipped in with a pair of helpers.
Gagne has seven goals in eight games this year, matching the total he had in an injury-plagued season in 2007-08, when he played in just 25 contests.
Tonight's test marks the first of two straight on home ice for the Flyers, who are 1-2-1 as the host this year. Philadelphia will welcome Edmonton to town on Sunday to complete the brief homestand.
The Islanders split their first four games of the season, but have lost four straight games in regulation. New York has been outscored 15-8 during the slide and is coming off Monday's 4-2 defeat to the rival New York Rangers. Chris Drury scored his first two goals of the season and Michal Rozsival added two assists to lift the Rangers to the win on Long Island.
Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit tallied for the Islanders, while Joey MacDonald let in four goals on 39 shots faced. Richard Park assisted on both goals in defeat.
MacDonald was starting in place of No. 1 goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was sidelined with an unspecified lower-body injury that is not related to the hip or knee ailments DiPietro battled this offseason. DiPietro is questionable for tonight's game.
The Islanders are 1-2-0 as the visiting team this year.
Philadelphia has won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings against the Isles and New York has been defeated in its previous four trips to the City of Brotherly Love.
10/30 10:50:45 ET