GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (18-5-8-3) at New York Islanders (14-15-2-1).
TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.
The little success the Philadelphia Flyers have had of late has come against
the New York Islanders.
Philadelphia looks to make it four straight wins over the Islanders this
season when the teams meet at Nassau Coliseum.
The Flyers, winners of just one of their last seven contests (1-2-2-2),
opened a season-long eight-game road trip Sunday with a 4-1 loss to Atlanta.
John LeClair scored the lone goal for Philadelphia, tied with surging
Toronto for the most points in the Eastern Conference despite its recent
"I think the problem is you can't expect to win hockey games if you don't
have everybody competing," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We did not have
enough guys willing to pay the price."
Slow starts may be beginning to take their toll on the Flyers, who have
fallen behind 1-0 in each of their last 13 games.
"Playing catch-up is tough against any team because you have to play that
much harder to get back into the game," Flyers defenseman Eric Weinrich said.
"We're not playing hard enough from the beginning. I don't know why we're
giving up the first goal."
The only victory for Philadelphia in the last seven games was 3-1 over the
visiting Islanders on Saturday. The Flyers have won six of their last seven
meetings with the Islanders, including all three this season by a combined 10-3
Goaltender Robert Esche returned from a seven-game absence due to a groin
injury and stopped 18 of 19 shots in Saturday's victory. With Jeff Hackett
losing his fourth straight start Sunday, Esche will likely be back in net
A 5-4 victory at Washington Sunday gave the Islanders a chance to get back
to .500 before the Christmas break.
Alexei Yashin and Mariusz Czerkawski scored third-period goals for New York,
which ended a 15-game winless streak in Washington with its first win there
since March 2, 1997.
The Islanders snapped a six-game road winless streak despite allowing three
"You're not going to win very often when you give up three power-play
goals," captain Michael Peca said. "Fortunately we were able to get two of
our own. Five-on-five, we were dominating them."
Yashin is beginning to heat up following a slow start, with seven goals and
eight points in his last nine games.