NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 8th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (32-30-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (34-26-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to close out their three-
game homestand with consecutive victories when they welcome the rival New York
Islanders for tonight's Atlantic Division battle at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers were handed a 5-2 setback by visiting Buffalo on Tuesday, but
rebounded two days later with a close decision over the Tampa Bay Lighting.
Philadelphia is currently holding onto the eighth and final postseason berth
in the Eastern Conference with 76 points. The Sabres are three behind in ninth
place, while Washington and the Islanders are in the mix with 72 and 71
The Flyers are 3-1 against the Isles this season, but New York has still taken
six of the last 10 encounters overall. Philadelphia has won its last two home
tests against the Islanders, who have still come out on top in five of their
last eight trips to the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia is coming off Thursday's 3-2 decision over the Lightning. Jeff
Carter posted two goals, including the game-winner late in the third period,
to lead the Flyers.
Carter extended his point streak to four games (five goals, two assists), and
reached the scoresheet for the sixth time in the last seven games (6g, 3a).
Daniel Briere also tallied in his return to the Philadelphia lineup after
missing one game with a sprained right shoulder.
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen added an assist in the win to extend his point
streak to five games. He has no goals and seven assists during the run.
Martin Biron turned aside 18 shots, as the Flyers snapped a two-game skid and
beat the Lightning in Philadelphia for the first time since January 18, 2003
-- breaking a string of eight consecutive loses.
Philadelphia is 15-13-6 as the hosts this year, but has won just twice in its
last nine at the Wachovia Center. After tonight's outing the Flyers will visit
Toronto on Tuesday for the opener of a home-and-home series with the Maple
The Islanders are coming off a split of a home-and-home series with the rival
Rangers. The Isles won a 4-3 shootout decision at Madison Square Garden on
Tuesday, but lost the home portion of the set Thursday, as Sean Avery scored
two goals to lead the Blueshirts to a 4-1 triumph at Nassau Coliseum.
Sean Bergenheim had the only goal for the Islanders, who have dropped three of
four and five of their past seven contests.
Wade Dubielewicz allowed three goals on 27 shots in defeat, as he started his
third straight game in place of franchise goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was
given time off to deal with the death of his grandmother.
DiPietro was available as the backup for Thursday's game, but Isles head coach
Ted Nolan opted to give his starting netminder another night off. The All-Star
goaltender had started 14 straight games before his recent absence. DiPietro
is expected to be back in net for tonight's outing.
03/08 10:36:16 ET