NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 9th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (17-18-3) at New York Islanders (19-16-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders will try to boost their playoff
chances on Tuesday, but they'll have to earn their first home win against the
Philadelphia Flyers in over three years.
The Islanders enter Tuesday tied with the New York Rangers for Eastern
Conference's final two playoff spots. Both teams have nine games left in the
regular season, but the Rangers are idle on Tuesday.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are five points behind in 12th place.
Philadelphia had dominated the rivalry with the Islanders for many years, but
New York has showed signs of turning the tables lately, earning a split in the
last six meetings between the clubs. However, the Isles have lost seven
straight and 14 of their last 15 home games in this series and the last time
New York beat the Flyers at Nassau Coliseum was in a 6-4 decision on April 1,
The Flyers began this year's season series with a 7-0 win at the Coliseum on
Feb. 18, but New York responded with a 4-3 shootout victory in Philadelphia on
New York enters Tuesday having won three of four and six of their last eight
games. The club earned a victory in its most recent trip to the ice, notching
Saturday's 4-2 home win over the Tampa Bay Lighting.
Matt Martin netted the game-winning goal with 6:26 left to help the Islanders
rebound from Thursday's shootout loss at Washington. Michael Grabner, Andrew
MacDonald and Josh Bailey also lit the lamp for the Islanders, while Evgeni
Nabokov stopped 19 shots in the win.
Saturday's triumph was the third straight home win for the Islanders, who
still have a disappointing 8-11-2 record at the Coliseum this season.
"We weren't happy with our home record, but it is something we wanted to
battle through. We like playing in this building and in front of these fans.
It was nice to get a win for them," Bailey said.
New York will visit Boston for its next game on Thursday before returning to
Long Island for a two-game homestand against the Rangers and Florida Panthers.
The Flyers aided their postseason chances by winning a season-high four
straight games from March 30-April 6, but that streak came to an abrupt end
Saturday in Winnipeg. Grant Clitsome, Kyle Wellwood and Evander Kane scored in
a 2:06 span during a four-goal second period, lifting the Jets to the 4-1
decision at MTS Centre.
"The first period went our way, in the third period the chances and shots were
probably equal, but the second period is what cost us," said Flyers head coach
Ruslan Fedotenko's tip of a Kent Huskins shot was the lone offense for the
Flyers, who are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since
Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled after allowing four scores on 16 shots in two
periods. Steve Mason, who was signed to a one-year, $1.5 million extension on
Monday, made his Philadelphia debut and turned away all nine Winnipeg chances
in the third.
The Flyers have lost six of their last seven games on the road and are 5-13-1
as the visiting team this season. Philadelphia is completing a three-game road
trip on Tuesday.
Philadelphia has been saddled with injuries to key players lately, but it
appears forward Danny Briere is close to returning from a concussion he
suffered March 18 in Tampa. Briere has been practicing with the team and could
play Saturday when the Flyers visit Buffalo.
04/09 10:38:53 ET