NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 23rd
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (33-35-7) at Philadelphia Flyers (37-28-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to build off a
thrilling win in their last outing and solidify their chances of earning a
playoff berth with tonight's matchup against the visiting New York Islanders
from the Wachovia Center.
Philadelphia has won the first two tests of a three-game homestand and came
through with a much-needed shootout victory over the rival New York Rangers on
Friday. After squandering a two-goal lead in the third period, the Flyers
received tallies from Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in the deciding phase to
pull out a hard-fought 4-3 decision.
The win puts Philadelphia in a tie with Boston for seventh place in the
Eastern Conference with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Washington is just two points back of both teams, but both the Flyers and
Bruins have a game in hand on the Capitals.
The Flyers led 2-0 with 9:10 left in regulation after Danny Briere netted the
first of two goals on the evening, but the Rangers roared back to tie the
contest by scoring twice within a span of 1:48.
Briere put Philadelphia back on top by knocking home a feed from Scott
Hartnell with just 3:37 remaining. The lead was short-lived, however, as
Jaromir Jagr fired a loose puck past Flyers goaltender Martin Biron to knot
the score at 3-3 with 1:51 to go.
Biron stopped both Ranger skaters he faced in the shootout and made 23 saves
in regulation and overtime to help Philadelphia end a seven-game home losing
streak to the Blueshirts.
The Flyers have had greater success when facing the other New York team at
home this season. The Islanders have lost in all three 2007-08 visits to the
Wachovia Center and are 1-5-0 against Philadelphia during the course of this
That's quite a turnaround from a year ago, when the Isles won all four of
their 2006-07 encounters with the Flyers in Philadelphia.
The Islanders took themselves out of the postseason mix with a recent six-game
slide, but the club showed it could play spoiler Friday in New Jersey. Kyle
Okposo's first career NHL goal broke a third-period tie and New York went on
to a 3-1 victory over the Devils at the Prudential Center.
Okposo, New York's first round pick (seventh overall) of the 2006 draft, also
added an assist on Blake Comeau's first-period goal. Trent Hunter sealed the
win with an empty-net tally in the final seconds, while goaltender Wade
Dubielewicz outdueled Martin Brodeur by stopping 34-of-35 New Jersey shots.
Dubielewicz will serve as the Islanders' No. 1 netminder for the remainder of
the season after All-Star Rick DiPietro underwent hip surgery earlier this
03/23 10:30:35 ET