NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 24th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (23-31-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (39-15-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to avoid losing
consecutive games for the first time since December when they host the New
York Islanders in tonight's Atlantic Division clash at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference with 84 points, but have lost two of
their last three contests, including Tuesday's 3-2 overtime setback against
However, Philadelphia hasn't suffered consecutive defeats since losing to
Florida and Vancouver on Dec. 20 and 28, respectively. Since that time the
Flyers have put together a 17-6-1 record and are also sporting a 6-3-1 mark in
The Flyers have also dominated the Islanders in recent years and New York will
try to end an 11-game road losing streak against Philly. New York has lost all
three meetings against the Flyers this season and has dropped 18 of 19 overall
in the series.
The Isles, who are 11-17-3 as the visiting team this season, last won in
Philadelphia on April 7, 2007.
Philadelphia was dealt the overtime loss to the Coyotes after Shane Doan
scored a power-play goal 2:41 into overtime. Doan's goal came after Flyers
defenseman Kimmo Timonen was called for hooking. Philadelphia defenseman
Andrej Meszaros also lost his stick during the 4-on-3 situation, leaving Doan
plenty of space to fire a one-timer into the net.
Ville Leino and Claude Giroux each had a goal for the Flyers, who had won six
of eight coming into the game. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots in defeat.
"They have a good team and are really fast," said Philadelphia forward Mike
Richards. "I thought the pace of play was good tonight. We played well; we had
a lot of chances. They were very opportunistic and they got the last shot."
It's uncertain if Bobrovsky or Brian Boucher will get the start in net tonight
for Philly. Boucher has been bothered by a stinger, but was able to serve as
the backup on Tuesday and could get the call tonight.
The Flyers enter tonight's game with injury issues at the back end, losing a
defenseman in each of the last two games.
Oskars Bartulis sustained a shoulder injury in Tuesday's loss and is out
indefinitely after undergoing surgery on Wednesday. Bartulis was injured on a
hit by Phoenix forward Scottie Upshall. Upshall, a former Flyer, was suspended
two games by the league for the hit, which did result in a minor penalty for
Sean O'Donnell suffered a knee injury Sunday against the Rangers and although
he was originally expected to miss 1-to-2 weeks, the veteran could play
The Islanders had a two-game win streak halted Tuesday evening, as they were
dealt a 2-1 regulation loss in Toronto. Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal
late in the third period to lift the home team to the win.
Matt Moulson scored for the sixth time in his last three games, but it wasn't
enough to give the Islanders a third consecutive win. Al Montoya stopped 23
shots in the setback.
"We needed that one bounce to go our way," Montoya said. "The puck wasn't
going in the net for us tonight. I knew I was going to have to shut the door,
and they came down and they got a good break."
The Islanders also had a three-game road winning streak halted with Tuesday's
New York is currently last in the Atlantic Division and is also 12 points out
of a playoff spot in the East.
02/24 10:55:35 ET