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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at NY Islanders

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (25-19-5--55pts)

  New York Islanders (19-24-7--45pts)

The Flyers and Islanders play the second half of their home-and-home series in a Monday matinee after taking the first game by a 6-4 score on Saturday night in Philadelphia… Today will also wrap up the season series between the two clubs with the Flyers looking for the series sweep after going 3-0-0 so far, outscoring the Isles, 16-8, while averaging 5.33 goals per-game… With a win, the Flyers would sweep the season series for the third time in the last six years and fourth overall series sweep since 1972-73… The Flyers will be looking for their 130th all-time win against the Islanders and 55th win on the road, which would put them above the .500 mark, currently owning a 54-54-15-2 record all-time at Nassau Coliseum, including a 16-3-0 record over the last six seasons of play (2007-08)… Since the 1999-2000 season have posted a mark of 30-7-1-2 in 40 games at Nassau Coliseum.

The Flyers enter the week playing four games in a span of six days and 11 games in 20 days remaining until they break for the Winter Olympic Games… Today is also the sixth day/morning start-time for the Flyers, who own a 2-2-1 record in that category… It is also the first of games on back-to-back days - The Flyers own a 4-5-0 record in the first game… The next five teams the Flyers play are all in the Eastern Conference, while the final six games before the break are all against Western Conference Opponents… Nine of their remaining 11 games are against opponents with a .500 or better record.

The Flyers rank fifth overall in the NHL in scoring third period goals (53), but are tied for sixth worst (with the Islanders) for goals-against in the third period (50)… They have scored a goal in the third period in each of their last four games and have posted eight goals in the third period in their last three games… Claude Giroux has more points against the Islanders than any other team in his NHL career, posting 34 points (8g-26a) in 28 games… The Islanders return home where they have won two of their last three games, after eight straight games where they went winless, going 0-4-4… The opponent has scored first in 30 of the Islanders 50 games so far, while the opposition has scored first in 25 of the Flyers 49 games so far.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Andrej Meszaros (D: 41)
It's hard to look past Meszaros lately after he has put up nine points (3g-6a) in his last six games... His nine points leads all NHL defensemen since Jan. 8… During that stretch he has recorded at least a point in five of the six games, including back-to-back multi-point games and three multi-point games in his last six… During that six-game stretch, Meszaros is a plus-4 and has 18 shots on goal… He also averages nearly a point-per-game in his career against the Islanders, posting 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points in 30 games.

5. Player to watch ISLANDERS: Thomas Vanek (LW: 26)
The Isles sniper has points in each of his last four games, posting two goals and five points in that span, and has recorded at least a point in 14 of his last 15 games for a total of seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points during that stretch… He averages 19:35 of ice-time per-game and has recorded over 20 minutes of TOI in each of his last four games… Against the Flyers, he has 28 points (13g-15a) in 32 games, including two assists in two games of the season series.

"When we try to do too much, that’s when we get in trouble.  We get out of position, and like I said, we just shot ourselves in the foot.  When we started playing our game, playing as a system, that’s when we’re a dangerous team."
- Claude Giroux
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