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Flyers aware what's at stake against Islanders

Philadelphia travels to Barclays Center with second wild card in sight

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

FLYERS (34-24-12) at ISLANDERS (38-23-9)

TV: 7:30 p.m., ET; NBCSN, CSN-PH, TVA Sports

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia Flyers have won seven of their past 10, and with 12 games left in the regular season, they're aware how important every game is if they want to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Flyers, who visit the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Monday, lost 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and are three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference with two games in hand. The Islanders hold the first wild card and have five more points than the Flyers having played the same number of games.

"We have to keep doing what we're doing," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "I think if we take care of our games, we will be in a position to make the playoffs. Obviously it would be fun to have some help but at the end of the day, we just have to focus on ourselves.

"I think every night you kind of look at the games, see how it goes and kind of hoping a lot but at the end of the day, when all of the games are over, you have to look back and make sure we are playing well."

Flyers forward Jakub Voracek, who returned Saturday after missing nine games with a lower-body injury, has looked at the schedule and knows their upcoming opponents.

"It's going to come down to [a few points]," he said. "We play the Islanders [two] times, we play Pittsburgh [two times], we play Detroit once... those are games against teams right in front of us so we have to focus on that."

The Islanders were defeated 3-0 by the Dallas Stars on Saturday and went 0-2-1 on a three-game road trip, scoring a combined three goals.

"We have to try and find some offense if we are going to win games," coach Jack Capuano said. "I can't put my finger on it to be honest with you. We've always been a good offensive team. ... There were opportunities especially on a few of those games on the road and we didn't shoot the puck often enough and that was a little bit of an issue."

The Islanders return home to Barclays Center, where they are 21-8-4 and play eight of their final 12 games.

"We will find our way here. I think guys will get on the scoreboard here," Capuano said. "It's good to be back home and hopefully we can gain that touch."

Goalie Steve Mason will start for the Flyers, who are without Michal Neuvirth for three weeks after he sustained a lower-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jakub Voracek - Nick Cousins - Matt Read

Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl - Sean Couturier - Sam Gagner

Scott Laughton - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Anthony Stolarz 

Suspended: Chris VandeVelde

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Jordan Weal (upper body), Michael Del Zotto (wrist)

Scratched: R.J. Umberger, Evgeny Medvedev


Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Ryan Strome

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Shane Prince - Nikolay Kulemin - Anders Lee

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Brian Strait

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Injured: Jaroslav Halak (groin), Marek Zidlicky (upper body), Adam Pelech (upper body), Mikhail Grabovski (undisclosed)

Scratched: Eric Boulton, Ryan Pulock, Steve Bernier

Status report: Stolarz was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Sunday to back up Mason. ... Capuano said he will use the same lineup from Saturday. ... Tavares, who will be playing in his 500th NHL game, said it's "definitely something to be proud of."  

Who's hot: Raffl has four goals and five assists in nine games. ... Schenn has nine goals and nine assists in 16 games. ... Okposo has two goals and three points in five games. ... Tavares has three goals and six points in eight games.

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