The Flyers kick off a stretch in which they play seven of their next eight games on the road and 15 of 20 away from the Wells Fargo Center through Jan. 3, 2015… The Flyers are looking to get back into the win column on the road, having lost four straight games… Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers on the road with 11 points (2g-9a) and a +5 rating, while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier share the lead for goals on the road (3)… Couturier has six of his eight points this season on the road… The Flyers have also allowed the first goal in every road game so far this year… Tonight’s game is the first time Andrew MacDonald returns to Long Island and has faced his former team since being traded to the Flyers last season - he spent six seasons with the Islanders from 2008-14… Ray Emery has never lost to the Islanders in regulation in his career - he is 7-0-2 with a 1.74 GAA.
The Islanders have risen to the top of the Metropolitan Division with 28 points in the standings having won eight of their last nine games, including three straight… New York has also been dominant at home, losing just twice all season, going 6-2-0… They are off to their best start through 20 games since the 1987-88 season and have tied a franchise record by winning 14 of their first 20 games… The Islanders are 5-1-0 against opponents in their own division and are 12-1-0 when they score at least three goals, including shootouts, which they are a perfect 4-0-0 this season… The Islanders have seven players who have 10 points or more so far this season… Isles captain John Tavares averages a point per-game to lead the team at 20 points (8g-12a)… Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has won his last six starts, allowing just eight goals over that stretch.
This is the 250th all-time regular season game against the Islanders with the Flyers owning a 129-87-26-7 mark, including an even 54-54-15-3 mark on the road… The Flyers went 3-0-1 in the four-game season series last year against the Islanders, including 1-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum… The Flyers have dominated the Islanders over the last seven years, posting an overall record of 33-4-3 since 2007-08… The Flyers have also gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 games they have played on Long Island, as well as 30-7-1-3 (1 tie), dating back to 1999-2000… The Islanders are third overall in the NHL in goals per-game posting an average of 3.20 per contest, while the Flyers are tied-sixth at 3.0 per-game… Both teams have scored four goals or more in eight games so far this year… The Islanders rank second overall in the NHL in shots per-game, averaging 32.8, while the Flyers are fifth overall at 31.8 shots per-game.
Matt Read loves playing the Islanders - he scored six goals in four games in the season series against the Islanders last year to the lead the Flyers… Overall in his career, he has 10 goals and 15 points in 14 games against NYI - the most against any other team for him… Lately, Read posted an assist in the Flyers’ 4-2 win over Columbus and has a goal and three assists in his last seven games… Both of Read’s goals this year have come on the road… Read also averages over two minutes of shorthanded time-on-ice per-game (2:03) ranking second among Flyers forwards, only to linemate Sean Couturier.
In his first year with the Islanders since being traded on Oct. 4 by the Boston Bruins, Boychuk has been a huge part of the Islanders blue line… He leads the club in ice-time per-game, averaging nearly 22 minutes (21:42) and when he leads the team in TOI for the game, the Islanders have a 7-2-0 record… He also leads the defense in the scoring column with 11 assists and 13 points through 19 games… Both of his goals have come on the power play this year and he ranks third on the team in plus-minus with a +7 rating… Against the Flyers however, Boychuk has just one goal in 16 career games.