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GAME PREVIEW: ISLANDERS VS. FLYERS

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
Rematch is one word that is probably going through all the players’ heads on the Islanders roster as they think about their game on Saturday night. Once the puck drops at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Islanders will have their chance to redeem themselves after losing 6-1 to the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center one week ago.


The Islanders were handed 73 penalty minutes, including four game misconducts, in last Saturday’s emotional loss, while center Frans Nielsen scored the Islanders only tally on his first career penalty shot.

Flyers center Danny Briere was handed a three-game suspension and will sit out of Saturday night’s game after he delivered a frustrating blow, cross-checking Nielsen in the head.

Dan Carcillo #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers tangles with Zenon Konopka #28 of the New York Islanders on October 30, 2010 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
With Islanders tough guys Zenon Konopka and Trevor Gillies in the lineup (and Daniel Carcillo for the Flyers), it could be another physical game, but head coach Scott Gordon said he isn’t sure what is going to happen at puck drop.

“That stuff usually gets worked out with the players,” Gordon said. “That’s something that – particularly with Briere not being in the game – you know (anything could happen). The most important thing is trying to win the game.”

After starting the season on such a high note, the Islanders are looking to turn their current losing streak on its head.

“I don’t think they’re thinking so much about the Flyers as they are thinking about getting a win, no matter who the opponent is,” Gordon said.

Even though the Islanders lost on Thursday night in Ottawa, they really started showing signs of improvement over their previous games. As a result, Gordon said his team was better both offensively and defensively.

“We were a lot better defensively,” Gordon said. “We didn’t give up a lot of chances. I thought we generated more chances for ourselves than was shown on the scoreboard. We just need to be more consistent with it and eventually the pucks will go in.”

Before the Islanders start scoring some goals, Gordon said the team just needs to work on getting to the gritty areas.

“We just have to finish our chances,” Gordon said. “We had two breakaways, a 2-on-1, and some point blank chances, and when you don’t bury those – if you’re not getting shutouts – it makes it hard to win. At some point, we have to find a way to put those opportunities in the net, and the wining will take care of itself.”
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