The Flyers come into tonight five points behind the final wild card position held by New Jersey, but have three games in hand on the Devils… They have dropped three of their last four games, including their last two in regulation… The Flyers have had five consecutive games decided by one goal as well as eight of their last nine games - the lone game that wasn’t was a 4-0 win over the Islanders… The Islanders come in after playing the night before, taking a 5-2 victory in Ottawa, and have won three of their last four games… They are 5-2-1 in the second half of games on back-to-back nights… The Isles have also dominated the Metropolitan, posting a 9-3-2 division mark, and are in a fight for second place with cross-town rival, sitting one point behind the NY Rangers.
The Flyers play the fourth of a five-game season series and come into today playing the second of three games in Brooklyn… The Flyers won the last meeting, 4-0 in Philly on Jan. 9 (their shutout streak over the Isles is at 103:46), but dropped the first two games including a 3-1 loss at Brooklyn on Nov. 25… The Flyers are 1-1-1 in the season series thus far… The Flyers haven’t had much luck against the Islanders on the road, dropping the last four contests… Flyers captain Claude Giroux has the most points against the Islanders than any player on the club with 40 points in 36 games, while Islanders captain John Tavares has the most points against the Flyers than any other teammate with 27 points in 33 games.
The Flyers have scored four of their last five goals on the power play, going 4-for-9 in the last two games… The Islanders have been perfect on the penalty kill in each of their last six games having killed off 22 straight penalties in that stretch… Wayne Simmonds (2g-2a) has points in four of his last five games, Claude Giroux has eight points (2g-6a) in his last seven games, while Jakub Voracek (2g-5a) has points in four of his last five games - together that line has combined for 25 points in their last 10 games… The Islanders continue to lead the NHL in hits (1,460), while the Flyers rank third (1,332).
The rookie defenseman is coming off a two-point night against the Penguins with two assists for his fourth multi-point game of the year… He leads the Flyers defense with 19 points, which also ranks sixth on the team overall… He leads all rookie defensemen in goals (8) and is tied for the lead in points (19) having played 21 less games than the player he is tied with (STL: Parayko)… His 19 points also place him in the Top 10 (tied for 8th) among all NHL rookies, having played only 27 games.
Okposo recorded a goal and an assist in last night’s win vs. Ottawa to extend his team lead in scoring with 35 points in 44 games… He now has four points (2g-2a) in his last three games… Against the Flyers, Okposo recorded the game-winning goal in their 3-1 win on Nov. 25, then scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout to give the Isles a 4-3 win on Dec. 8… Overall, he has 21 points (8g-13a) in 36 career games against Philadelphia.