Flyers look to get back on track against Islanders
Monday, 02.06.2012 / 2:48 PM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorISLANDERS (21-22-8) at FLYERS (30-16-6)
TV: MSG PLUS, CSN-PH
New York 6-2-2; Philadelphia 4-4-2
This is the fourth of six meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season. The road team has won all three previous games, most recently a 4-1 Islanders win Jan. 19 in Philadelphia.
The Flyers lost an opportunity to gain ground in the division race by losing over the weekend to the Devils and Rangers. Can they bounce back against another division opponent?
With the Isles short on bodies on defense, the team called up Aaron Ness from AHL Bridgeport on Monday.
Blueliners Travis Hamonic
and Milan Jurcina
are doubtful for Tuesday's game, so the 21-year-old Ness, in his first full professional season, likely will make his NHL debut against the Flyers.
A 2008 second-round pick (No. 40), Ness has 17 points and a plus-6 rating in 48 AHL games.
Flyers: Danny Briere
could return Tuesday from a concussion that has kept him out of the last six games.
Briere was one of the few Flyers to take part in Monday's optional skate and said he continues to feel better.
"I felt pretty good again today," he told CSNPhilly.com. "Last couple of days have been pretty good. Skating-wise, everything checks out. I've been working out and pushing myself more every day.
"I had a little more contact again today. So at this point, it's looking good. I know (the media) want to know when. I wish I could give you an answer. I have to see doctors … I'm definitely feeling better and better."
Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds
has goals in three straight games. His goal Sunday against the Rangers was his 17th, a new career-best. … Islanders center Josh Bailey
has three goals in his last seven games after scoring just once in his previous 23.
Jurcina (elbow) and Hamonic (facial cuts) are doubtful. Center Marty Reasoner
is out with a broken thumb. … For the Flyers, Briere (concussion) is possible, while fellow forward James van Riemsdyk
(concussion) remains out indefinitely.
The Islanders win in Philadelphia in the teams' last meeting was their first in 14 games, a losing streak that dated to April 7, 2007.
If things had gone right for the Flyers, they could have started the week atop the Atlantic Division standings. Instead, they had a woeful start in a 6-4 loss to the Devils on Saturday and lost again to the division-leading Rangers 5-2 on Sunday.
"It's frustrating," coach Peter Laviolette told reporters. "We were in a position to win a hockey game. We don't. We're trying to chase down first in the division, first in the conference and we come up on the short end."
After trailing 6-0 after two periods against the Devils, the Flyers didn't get a shot on goal against the Rangers until 9:13 into the first period.
"It is frustrating, especially after yesterday's game coming off a bad start," Brayden Schenn
said after Sunday's game. "Today I don't think we brought our 'A' game. We've got way better than that. Four points were up for grabs and we came up with zero."