NEW YORK ISLANDERS (22-14-5) VS. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (17-15-7)
1 P.M. WELLS FARGO CENTER, MSG+, CHANNEL FINDER, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM
1. HALFWAY POINT:
The Islanders kick off the second half of their season Saturday against the Flyers. Through 41 games, the Islanders are 22-14-5, second in the Metropolitan Division and tied for third in the Eastern Conference. Kyle Okposo leads the team with 31 points (10G, 21A), while John Tavares leads the Islanders with 15 goals.
The goaltending duo of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss has been a strength for the Islanders, as both goalies have at least 10 wins, a goals-against average under 2.33 and a save percentage over .923. The Islanders penalty kill is second in the NHL at 85.8%.
2. HAMONIC, OKPOSO MISS PRACTICE:
UPDATE: Travis Hamonic (lower body) will not play Saturday and is considered day-to-day. Kyle Okposo will play against the Flyers. Read more at Isles Day-To-Day
Travis Hamonic (maintenance day) and Kyle Okposo (illness) missed Friday’s practice. While neither is expected to be out long term, keep an eye on their status, especially given Saturday’s early 1 p.m. start time.
3. MAYFIELD RECALLED:
UPDATE: With Travis Hamonic out, Scott Mayfield will make his season debut this afternoon alongside his partner from Bridgeport, Adam Pelech. Read more at Isles Day-To-Day
Defenseman Scott Mayfield was recalled from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday after the team placed Eric Boulton on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 2. Mayfield may not play in Saturday’s game, but if he does, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound defenseman would be the biggest blueliner in the lineup. Mayfield plays a physical game and has shown a willingness to engage in his seven NHL games (five regular season, two playoffs). He has five points (3G, 2A) in 35 games for the Sound Tigers this season.
4. ISLANDERS-FLYERS III:
The Islanders and Flyers hook up for the third time this season, with the Islanders taking the previous two meetings, 3-1 at Barclays Center and 4-3 in a shootout at Wells Fargo Center.
Kyle Okposo scored the winning goals in both games, including a sick shootout winner against the Flyers in Philadelphia. Okposo’s heroics would not have been possible without a 43-save performance from Jaroslav Halak, who returned to action Thursday after missing five games with an upper-body injury.
5. SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE OUT:
Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostiberhere will miss Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. Gostiberhere picked up the injury in the third period of the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. The rookie leads all Flyers defensemen in goals (7), assists (9) and points (10).
6. LECAVALIER, L. SCHENN TRADED:
The Ryan Johansen-Seth Jones trade dominated the hockey headlines on Wednesday, but the Flyers also made a big-name trade, sending Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn to the Los Angeles Kings. The Flyers acquired forward Jordan Weal and a 2016 third-round pick in the deal. Lecavalier, a former All-Star with the Tampa Bay Lightning, played 133 games for the Flyers over three seasons, amassing 58 points (28G, 30A). Schenn, a stay-at-home defenseman, played 213 games for Philadelphia over four seasons, totaling 42 points (12G, 30A).