Islanders seek road sweep in Philadelphia
Wednesday, 02.29.2012 / 2:14 PM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorISLANDERS (26-28-9) at FLYERS (34-21-7)
TV: MSG PLUS 2, CSN-Philadelphia
New York 4-5-1; Philadelphia 4-5-1
This is the fifth meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals. The Flyers won the first two games on Long Island, with the Isles winning the last two in Philadelphia. In their previous meeting, Evgeni Nabokov
stopped all 45 Flyers shots in regulation and overtime and then two more in the shootout in a 1-0 victory last month.
How will the Flyers rebound after a rough loss in San Jose? Can the Islanders keep their Philadelphia win streak going?
A rough rookie season for Nino Niederreiter
got a little bumpier as the forward was made a healthy scratch for Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals.
"It's not that Nino has played bad hockey at all," coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. "It's not a knock on his game."
However, Niederreiter, the fifth pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, has just one goal and a minus-19 rating in 39 games. He's gone pointless in 34 straight games.
Philadelphia may have the League's best offense, but getting shut out twice on its just-finished four-game road trip won't do much for its success rate.
A 2-0 loss in Edmonton last Thursday was followed by a 1-0 loss in San Jose on Tuesday. The Flyers entered Wednesday's games leading with 3.24 goals per game, but they scored just nine non-shootout goals in the four games, and finished the trip with a 2-2-0 record.
Coach Peter Laviolette tried switching a few lines around, including putting Danny Briere
with Sean Couturier
and Zac Rinaldo
. Briere has gone 17 games without a goal, but tied for the team lead with three shots Tuesday.
"I only know one way to get out of a slump and that is to keep working," Briere told CSNPhilly.com. "Keep plugging away. That is the only thing I can do. That’s what I am going keep doing. At some point good things are going to start happening."
Islanders forward Matt Moulson
has two goals and two assists in his last four games. His goal Tuesday against Washington gave him a career-high of 54 points. … Flyers forward Claude Giroux
has five points in his last five games.
Islanders defenseman Dylan Reese
is out with a sprained knee suffered the last time these teams played. … Briere, who fell awkwardly into the boards Tuesday in San Jose, hitting his head and neck, said he expects to play Thursday.
In three games against the Flyers this season, Nabokov has stopped 104 of 108 shots.
The Flyers play 12 of their final 20 games at home, and their longest trek away from home is two games. While that might be good for some teams, it might not be for the Flyers.
The Flyers have an Eastern Conference-best 20 road wins, but are just 14-10-5 at home. Only the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets -- the 15th-place team in each conference -- have fewer home victories this season.