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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Flyers

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

FLYERS (8-9-2) at ISLANDERS (14-6-0)

TV: TCN-PH, MSG+

Season series:
This is the first of four games between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. The Flyers took the first three games last season before New York rallied from a two-goal deficit behind Kyle Okposo's tying goal and decisive goal in the shootout for a 4-3 win Jan. 20. Flyers forwards Matt Read (6-0-6) and Claude Giroux (1-5-6) combined for 12 points in the four games. The Flyers are 15-2-3 against the Islanders since the start of the 2010-11 season, 16-3-1 at Nassau Coliseum since 2007-08 and 30-7-1-3 in their past 41 games on Long Island.

Flyers team scope:
The Flyers snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, and will play seven of their next eight games and 15 of their next 20 on the road. Philadelphia, however, is 2-6-0 away from Wells Fargo Center and hopes the time on the road will draw the team closer together. "I think when you're on the road you're around your teammates more than you are when you're at home," coach Craig Berube told the Courier-Post. "At home you've got different obligations and families and things going on. On the road, you've basically got your teammates. You hang out with them more." Defenseman Luke Schenn, who was benched in the third period Saturday after Columbus' third goal, could be a healthy scratch. "You'll have to ask [Berube], I don't know," Schenn told CSNPhilly.com Sunday. "I talked to him a little bit. I am assuming that the reason I sat in the game was because of that goal. As far as tomorrow, I am not sure [if I'm playing]."

Islanders team scope:
The Islanders are coming off a sweep of a home-and-home series against the Pittsburgh Penguins that moved them into a first-place tie in the Metropolitan Division with 28 points. New York has won three straight, is 8-1-0 in its past nine games and has won 14 of its first 20 games for the first time since 1987-88 (14-5-1). The Islanders are also 8-2-0 in this month, a sharp contrast from a 4-10-1 record in November last season, which included a 10-game losing streak that stretched into December and effectively ended their Stanley Cup Playoff chances. "We don't talk about last year," coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. "We're a positive group, a confident group, and we play the way we need to play." Goalie Jaroslav Halak has won six straight starts, allowing eight goals in those games.

New York Islanders
14-6-0 (28 points – T-1st in Metropolitan Division, T-3rd in Eastern Conference)
6-2-0 home
Philadelphia Flyers
8-9-2 (18 points - 6th in Metropolitan Division, 13th in Eastern Conference)
2-6-0 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

Television:
MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Islanders 4, Penguins 1 (Nov. 22)
- Highlights, The Skinny
- Isles TV: Capuano, Martin, Tavares (Nov. 22)
- E:60 - Travis Hamonic (Nov. 22)

What's Happening at the Coliseum:

- Lower Lobby Opens 5:00 p.m.
- Doors Open 5:45 p.m.

Islanders player to watch
Matt Martin - Forward

Matt Martin busted out of a lengthy goalless drought with two tallies in two games over the weekend against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders tough guy opened the scoring on both nights, the first time he’s scored in consecutive games. Martin leads the NHL with 93 hits and has led the league every year since 2011-12. Saturday’s tilt was Martin’s 300th career NHL game.           
Flyers player to watch
Jakub Voracek - Forward

Jakub Voracek has been a revelation for the Flyers this season, as the 25-year-old winger leads the NHL in assists (22) and points (29) through the first quarter. Voracek looks poised to shatter his previous career high of 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists), set last season. The Czech native has points in 17 of the Flyers 19 games this season and has three assists in his last two games.
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
86 Nikolay Kulemin
91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
84 Mikhail Grabovski51 Frans Nielsen12 Josh Bailey
27 Anders Lee
29 Brock Nelson 18 Ryan Strome
17 Matt Martin
– 
53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

Defensemen

2 Nick Leddy 55 Johnny Boychuk
44 Calvin de Haan
3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson
Philadelphia Flyers previous game lines
Forwards
10 Brayden Schenn - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek
24 Matt Read - 14 Sean Couturier - 17 Wayne Simmonds
18 R.J. Umberger - 21 Scott Laughton - 40 Vincent Lecavalier
36 Zac Rinaldo - 78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 15 Michael Del Zotto

Defensemen
8 Nicklas Grossmann - 32 Mark Streit
22 Luke Schenn - 47 Andrew MacDonald
55 Nick Schultz - 5 Braydon Coburn

Goaltenders
35 Steve Mason
29 Ray Emery


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