The Islanders traded in the Florida sun for some Pennsylvania cold, as they wrap up their six-game road trip tonight in Philadelphia.
The Islanders are coming in hot, having won eight-of-10, and four-of-five on their current road trip. They look to beat the Flyers for the first time this season and make up some ground on their Metropolitan-division rival.
With the Wells Fargo Center hosting a lacrosse game, the site of today’s morning skate was University of Pennsylvania's Class of 1923 Arena. The barn, which we originally guessed had opened in 1923, actually opened in 1972, the same year as Nassau Coliseum.
It was cold, but the rink had a ton of character and today’s skate definitely had a throwback feel to it.
Ahead of tonight’s game, here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s skate. Lineup Notes/Changes: Poulin Starts:
Head coach Jack Capuano is sticking with his hot goaltender, as Poulin gets his sixth start in a row. The 23-year-old has won six of his last seven contests and allowed two goals or fewer in four of them. Boulton In:
Eric Boulton draws back into the lineup tonight in place of Peter Regin. The Islanders enforcer scored one of his two goals this season at Wells Fargo Center. From the Coach:
You’re at the end of the trip. You’re going home, it’s the last game. This game and the first one back at home are usually the toughest for a team. Mentally you have to be focused and ready for that challenge. This is a crucial stretch for our hockey team obviously with the points and the divisional play. We have to be ready to play against a really good team. Flyers:
After a bumpy 1-7 start to the season, the Flyers have roared back with a 23-12-5 in their last 40 games to claim second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers had been dynamite at home, winning 10 straight at Wells Fargo Center, until a pair of losses in their last two home games. Overall, the Flyers are 1-2-1 in their last four. As good as they’ve been this season, the Islanders enter the game as the hotter team. Team Leaders:
Claude Giroux (13-29-42) and Wayne Simmonds (16-19-35) lead the Flyers in points. Mark Streit leads all Flyers defensemen with 21 points (6-15-21) in 48 games. Vincent Lecavalier (3-1-4) and Giroux (1-3-4) each have four points in two games vs. the Isles this season. Capuano on the Flyers:
This is a good team, they have four lines, they are deep on defense and they have solid goaltending. They have D that activate and they are playing good hockey right now. We’ve had some ups and downs in this building against this hockey club.