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Philadelphia
Flyers
45-26-11
New York
Islanders
36-40-6

22 SOG
32 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PHI
NYI
game preview

Flyers-Islanders Preview

Sunday, 04.02.2006 / 1:00 PM

Associated Press

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Flyers-Islanders Preview
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders

GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (40-23-10) at New York Islanders (33-35-5).

TIME: Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT.

The Philadelphia Flyers know they can't afford a losing streak now.

The Flyers look to avoid their third loss in a row when they visit the slumping New York Islanders.

Philadelphia lost 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Simon Gagne scored the lone goal for the Flyers, who remained four points behind the idle New York Rangers in the Atlantic Division.

"It doesn't help our case, definitely not," said Peter Forsberg, who had his 54th assist and has two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak. "We're falling behind and losing and not getting the points we should."

The Flyers were coming off a 3-2 loss to Toronto that ended a four-game winning streak. Philadelphia scored 18 goals over those four games, but have struggled to find the net since then.

"The puck was in their zone a lot. We were one chance and out," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We didn't have any second or third opportunities."

Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves but remained one win shy of tying Pelle Lindbergh for third place on the team's all-time rookie list with 22 victories. Ron Hextall ranks first with 37, and Pete Peeters is second 29.

Center Petr Nedved left the game in the second period with a strained groin and did not return.

"We need to move on to tomorrow and not dwell on this," right wing Mike Knuble said. "We have two huge games coming up."

The Islanders lost their third straight on Friday, falling 4-0 to Pittsburgh. New York has scored just one goal during its losing streak.

"This is the time of the year you need to get pucks and bodies in front of the net to score goals," coach Brad Shaw said. "Every game is a real challenge. We need a better mind set and do the little things that are even more important now and do them better than the opposition."

With 71 points, New York is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference and 12 points behind Tampa Bay for the final playoff spot. But captain Alexei Yashin said that's no excuse for a sluggish performance.

"We have to be professional," he said. "We just couldn't do anything, but we still have to come out and play hard every game."

Garth Snow made his first start since March 6 at Washington and remained winless since Nov. 26 at Philadelphia.

"There's no excuse why we played like we did," left wing Sean Bergenheim said. "I still think we have a lot to show. We can't let the fans down like this. We just need to put this behind us as soon as possible and regroup in practice. You can't stop and think about it, you need to just look forward."

STANDINGS: Flyers - 90 points, 2nd place, 4 PB, Atlantic Division. Islanders - 71 points, 4th place, 23 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Gagne, 42 goals; Forsberg, 54 assists and 73 points; Donald Brashear, 134 PIM. Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 29 goals; Yashin and Mike York, 36 assists; Yashin, 61 points; John Erskine, 140 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Flyers - Power play: 18.3 percent (74 for 405), 11th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.8 percent (323 for 410), 26th (tied). Islanders - Power play: 16.8 percent (66 for 393), 22nd. Penalty killing: 78.8 percent (343 for 435), 26th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Niittymaki (22-14-6, 2 SO, 2.98 GAA); Robert Esche (18-9-4, 1, 3.06). Islanders - Rick DiPietro (27-22-5, 3.08); Snow (4-10-0, 3.72).

SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 4-2.

LAST MEETING: March 4; Flyers, 4-2. At Uniondale, N.Y., Chris Campoli scored the go-ahead goal for the Islanders on a two-man advantage with 8:39 left.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 20-11-4 on the road; Islanders - 18-16-2 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 18 '06PHI 4 at NYI 1J. Carter
Apr 02 '06PHI 4 at NYI 1R. Umberger
Mar 04 '06PHI 2 at NYI 4C. Campoli
Feb 08 '06NYI 2 at PHI 5M. Richards
Nov 29 '05PHI 4 at NYI 3S. Gagne
Nov 26 '05NYI 4 at PHI 2B. Lukowich
Nov 10 '05NYI 2 at PHI 3P. Sharp
Oct 15 '05NYI 1 at PHI 5P. Sharp
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%