The Philadelphia Flyers have lost three straight and will be without two-time 40-goal scorer Simon Gagne for an undetermined time.
|Scott Hartnell recorded a hat trick in the Flyers' last meeting with the Islanders. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)|
Their problems, though, can't match those of the sputtering New York Islanders, losers of seven straight.
The Flyers look to snap a three-game skid and remain perfect this season against the Islanders on Tuesday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
With four losses in five games, the Flyers (30-20-5) have fallen from first in the Atlantic Division to third, four points behind first-place Pittsburgh. Philadelphia had lost only three times in its previous 14 contests (11-2-1).
One day after they were shut out 2-0 by the New York Rangers, the Flyers fell 4-3 to the Penguins on Sunday.
R.J. Umberger scored twice for Philadelphia, which played the final two periods without Gagne after the star forward suffered his third concussion this season.
Gagne, who has seven goals and 18 points in 25 games, was examined Monday by the Flyers team doctor.
"I don't think the season is lost right now," Gagne said. "Hopefully, I'm not going to have any more symptoms coming up. The way I feel right now is just a balance problem. When this goes away, I will be pretty much symptom free."
Gagne suffered a concussion on Oct. 24, sat out four games, then had another concussion on Nov. 7 and missed the next 26 games. He said his symptoms were worse after the last two concussions.
Gagne's latest injury comes at an inopportune time for Philadelphia, which is already without defenseman Braydon Coburn (muscle injury) and right wing Scottie Upshall (ankle sprain). Slumping center Daniel Briere, second on the team with 52 points, has gone eight games without a goal, matching his longest drought of the season.
Although Martin Biron didn't play particularly well Sunday, he could be back in net for this game. Biron has led Philadelphia to a 3-0-0 mark this season against the Islanders (24-25-7), holding them to six goals.
|Martin Biron could be back in net tonight given his 3-0-0 record against the Islanders this season and 11-4-0 overall. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)|
He is 11-4-0 with one tie, a 2.09 goals-against average and two shutouts in 16 career starts versus New York.
Scott Hartnell has three goals - all in one game - and two assists this season against the Isles while Mike Richards and Upshall have two goals apiece.
The Flyers have won their last two visits to Long Island following a four-game losing streak there.
The Islanders were sitting in playoff position two weeks ago, but a seven-game skid (0-6-1) has dropped them to 13th, six points behind eighth-place Boston.
Sean Bergenheim's goal with 4:05 left in regulation gave New York a 3-2 lead Saturday at Minnesota, but the Wild answered just 41 seconds later and won it 2:34 into overtime.
"The last couple of games in Pittsburgh and Minnesota, we've played well," Islanders coach Ted Nolan told the team's official Web site. "We should have had a better result in Minnesota. The bottom line is the last couple of games, we've played better than the previous three."
The league's worst offense has been the biggest culprit during the Islanders' slide. They have scored 11 goals in seven games since a 6-3 win at Carolina on Jan. 22 and have found the back of the net a league-low 134 times this season.
New York hasn't dropped eight in a row since Nov. 9-25, 2000.
|Mar 29 '08||PHI 4 at NYI 3 - SO||D. Briere|
|Mar 23 '08||NYI 1 at PHI 4||B. Coburn|
|Mar 08 '08||NYI 1 at PHI 4||J. Carter|
|Mar 01 '08||PHI 4 at NYI 1||B. Coburn|
|Feb 12 '08||PHI 3 at NYI 4||R. Fedotenko|
|Jan 19 '08||PHI 5 at NYI 3||S. Hartnell|
|Nov 12 '07||NYI 2 at PHI 3||M. Richards|
|Oct 13 '07||NYI 1 at PHI 3||S. Kapanen|