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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 19th (All times Eastern)

New York Islanders (17-21-6) at Philadelphia Flyers (27-13-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Flyers hope to continue their mastery of the New York Islanders when the clubs meet tonight in an Atlantic Division battle at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers enter tonight having won eight straight, 23 of 24 and 26 of the last 28 meetings against the Isles. The clubs met twice earlier this year on Long Island and New York will be trying to halt a 13-game road slide (0-11-2) in this series. The Isles haven't won in the City of Brotherly Love since April 7, 2007.

The teams met last Thursday in New York and the Flyers, who are 18 points ahead of the Isles in the standings, notched a 3-2 win as Sean Couturier netted the deciding goal late in regulation.

Couturier enters tonight on a five-game goal-scoring streak and the 19-year- old rookie now has 10 markers on the season. He scored once in Tuesday's 5-1 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild.

"He's just hot right now and I'm just happy for a good young kid. He works hard," Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said of Couturier after Tuesday's win.

Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen each scored a power-play goal to help the Flyers rout the Wild. Hartnell has a team-high 20 goals on the year, marking the sixth time in the last seven seasons he's scored 20 or more goals.

Jakub Voracek and Braydon Coburn also lit the lamp for Philadelphia, while Ilya Bryzgalov made 25 saves in the win. Bryzgalov is 3-2 in his last five starts after losing his previous four decisions.

The Flyers, who are four points behind the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic and Eastern Conference, have won three straight on home ice since losing the Winter Classic outdoors at Citizens Bank Park on Jan. 2. Philadelphia is 11-6-2 as the host this season.

Despite being tied with Carolina and Tampa Bay for the last seed in the East, the Islanders have won two of three and are 6-4 in their last 10 outings.

New York is coming off Tuesday's shutout win in Washington. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 17 shots to recorded his first shutout of the season and P.A. Parenteau tallied twice in the Isles' 3-0 victory.

"I thought our (defense) tonight really did a good job with their sticks," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. "It's not going to show up on a scoresheet as far as blocked shots, but they had active sticks tonight."

John Tavares netted a goal to extend his point streak to 10 consecutive games. He has six goals and 11 assists during the run and is leading New York this season with 44 points.

The Islanders are just 7-10-3 as the visiting team this year and are completing a brief two-game trip tonight.

01/19 10:43:41 ET


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