Flyers at Islanders – 7 p.m., CSN
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
Flyers: 17-18-3 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 12th in Eastern Conference)
Islanders: 19-16-4 (Third in Atlantic Division, eighth in Eastern Conference)
In the last matchup between these two division rivals, Scott Hartnell scored with 30 seconds remaining to force overtime, but the Flyers ultimately fell to the Islanders in a shootout, 4-3, on March 28. Hartnell also found the back of the net in the first period and both his markers came on the power play. Mike Knuble, who was re-inserted into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for eight games, registered the Flyers’ other goal in regulation.
Tuesday will mark the third of four meetings between the Flyers and Islanders this season. The two clubs will wrap up the 2013 series in South Philly on April 25.
The Flyers had their four-game win streak snapped by the Winnipeg Jets after suffering a 4-1 loss on Saturday. The Jets scored four times in less than seven minutes during the second period and netminder Ondrej Pavelec finished the game with 30 saves. Newly-acquired goalkeeper Steve Mason made his Flyers debut – stopping all nine shots fired his way in the third frame – after Ilya Bryzgalov, who allowed the four goals on just 16 shots, was pulled.
The Islanders are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes remaining before Andrew MacDonald sealed a win for the Isles with an empty-net tally. Josh Bailey and Michale Grabner also scored for New York, which is holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Ruslan Fedotenko enters Tuesday having registered a point in each of his past five games. The veteran forward, who scored the Flyers’ lone goal in Winnipeg, has two markers and three assists during that stretch. Fedotenko is also a team-best plus-9 in 38 games this season.
For the Islanders, Frans Nielson and Josh Bailey are both riding four-game point streaks. Nielson has a goal and four assists during that span, while Bailey has collected two markers, three helpers and a plus-5 rating.
Keep an eye on...
The Flyers are five points behind the Islanders for the eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference standings and have a game in hand on the Isles, who are in position to earn their first trip to the playoffs since 2007. Interestingly enough, the ’07 campaign was also the last time the orange and black failed to reach the postseason.
John Tavares has paced the Islanders’ offense all season long. The 22-year-old is leading his club with 23 goals and 40 points in 39 games. In both contests against the Flyers this year, Tavares has logged over 21 minutes of ice time but has been held to just one goal.
The Islanders won’t be happy to see Claude Giroux back in Uniondale. The Flyers’ captain has lit them up for five points (two goals, three assists) in the two meetings this season and has seven markers and 20 assists in 27 career games against the Isles overall.
Did you know?
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, the Flyers have a 29-3-2 record versus the Islanders and will be looking to earn their eighth consecutive win on Long Island on Tuesday.
Flyers: Danny Briere (concussion), Braydon Coburn (separated left shoulder), Max Talbot (broken left leg), Zac Rinaldo (high left ankle sprain), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion) and Jody Shelley (left hip surgery) are all out indefinitely.
Andrej Meszaros is expected to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder.
Islanders: Joe Finley (undisclosed), David Ullstrom (strained groin) are on injured reserve.
Brian Strait has missed the last 24 games with an ankle injury.
How many of the Flyers’ remaining 10 games will they win?