Flyers-Islanders: What you need to know

Flyers-Islanders: What you need to know
February 18, 2013, 11:00 am
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Flyers vs. Islanders – 1 p.m., CSN
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.

Maybe a matchup with the New York Islanders is exactly what the Flyers need to snap out of their offensive slump.

The Flyers have been flat-out dominant against the Islanders in recent years. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Flyers own a 28-3-1 record against their Atlantic Division foe.

That said, the two teams are currently heading in opposite directions. The resurgent Islanders will be searching for a third straight victory while the Flyers will be hoping to avoid a third straight defeat.

Flyers: 6-9-1 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)

Islanders: 6-7-1 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, 10th in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced off, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Zac Rinaldo all scored to help the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Islanders on March 15, 2012. Ilya Bryzgalov, who made 29 saves in the win, saw his shutout streak come to end at 249:43 – a Flyers record – after Michael Grabner beat him with 6:30 remaining in the third period.

The Flyers went 4-1-1 in the 2011-12 season series against the Isles, outscoring New York 17-15 in those six contests.

Previous games
The Flyers turned in another disappointing effort on the road in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Danny Briere scored the lone tally for the listless Flyers, who looked tired after playing their second game in as many nights.

John Tavares registered his fourth career NHL hat trick and added an assist to lead the Islanders to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Matt Moulson also scored and had three helpers as New York won its second consecutive game over an Atlantic Division team.
The Flyers have won six straight and 13 of 14 on the Islanders’ home ice. They enter Monday with an undesirable 2-8 record on the road so far this season.

Although he has struggled offensively this season, Giroux has had success against the Islanders in his career. In 21 games, the 25-year-old has five goals, 17 assists and a plus-4 rating versus New York. He had one goal and six assists in the 2011-12 season series.

Bryzgalov has been a work horse for the Flyers so far this season, starting 14 of the team’s 16 games. He enters Monday with a 6-7-1 record, .907 save percentage and a 2.60 goals against average. In six career games against the Isles, Bryz has not fared well. He's 2-1-1 with a 3.07 GAA and an .885 save percentage.

Islanders netminder Evgeni Nabokov appeared in five of the six meetings against the Flyers last season, going 2-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

Keep an eye on...
Offense continues to be a major concern for the Flyers. A year after averaging the second-best goals-per-game average in the NHL at 3.17, the Flyers are putting up just 2.38 markers per contest so far this season. The Flyers have also failed to register more than two goals in 11 of their 16 games.

Tavares is on an absolute tear for the Isles. He has 11 goals in his last 10 games and is among the league leaders in points with 20.

Did you know?
The Flyers have killed off 16 consecutive penalties and are 33-for-35 (94.3 percent) in shorthanded situations over their last nine games.

Flyers: Scott Hartnell (left foot) and Andrej Meszaros (left shoulder) are back practicing with the team but still not ready to return to game action.

Jody Shelley (hip) and Michael Leighton (upper-body) are on injured reserve.

Islanders: Matt Carkner is expected to be activated for Monday’s game against the Flyers. He has been sidelined with a groin injury since Feb. 5.

Radek Martinek (strained groin and abdomen) is on injured reserve and it’s unclear when he will return.

Jesse Joensuu underwent sports hernia surgery on Jan. 29.

Sound off
In what place will the Flyers finish the season in the Eastern Conference standings?

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