NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 26th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (2-7-0) at New York Islanders (4-3-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they visit the New York Islanders for Saturday's Metropolitan Division battle at Nassau Coliseum.
The Flyers are 2-7-0 on the season, but they ended a four-game slide with Thursday's victory over the visiting New York Rangers. Despite the 2-1 win, Philadelphia has yet to score more than two goals in any game this season, setting a franchise record for the longest stretch with two goals or less to begin a campaign.
Braydon Coburn's goal 3:33 into the third period was the difference in Thursday's win over the Rangers, who were playing without key players like star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and forwards Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan. The Flyers fired 27 shots at Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot, who made 25 saves and helped keep Philly off the board in all four of their power-play opportunities.
Flyers goaltender Steve Mason continued his strong play, stopping 30-of-31 shots, including all 10 he faced in the final period. Matt Read assisted on Coburn's game-winner and tallied a shorthanded goal earlier in the contest.
Coburn drilled a shot from near the blue line that rocketed past Talbot with Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds setting a screen in front.
"We've got guys like Wayne screening the goalie and causing havoc in there, so you know as long as you can get the pucks through, things can happen," said Coburn afterward.
The Flyers had Vincent Lecavalier back in the lineup on Thursday after a three-game absence and fellow forward Scott Hartnell is expected to return Saturday. Hartnell, who has no points in five games this season, sat out the last four games with an upper body injury.
Saturday's contest also marks the first trip back to Long Island for Mark Streit since the defenseman joined the Flyers during the offseason. Streit served as captain during his time with the Islanders, but his rights were traded to the Flyers last June, weeks before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent.
Streit signed a four-year, $21 million deal with the Flyers, but has produced just two assists in nine games this season.
The Flyers have won four of the last six meetings against the Islanders and have built a 12-2-2 record in the past 16 encounters in this series. However, Philadelphia had a seven-game road winning streak against the Isles halted when it lost a 4-1 decision at the Coliseum on April 9 of last season.
New York is coming off a win on Friday night, as it posted a 4-3 regulation decision in Pittsburgh. The victory was just the second in the last seven games (2-3-3) for the Islanders.
Josh Bailey scored with 1:40 remaining in the third period to lift the Isles to the win over the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center. Frans Nielsen registered a goal and two assists, while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 39 Pittsburgh shots, including 19 in the second period.
One-goal games have been the norm for New York this season. Nine of its first 10 games have been decided by the slimmest of margins.
"As the game went along, we felt like we could score a goal, be right back in the game and then turn the table on them," Nabokov said. "We didn't quit. We put the puck at the net, and good things happened."
The Isles, who are 2-1-3 as the host, are playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight and will welcome the New York Rangers on Tuesday.
New York forward Michael Grabner will be available Friday after serving a two- game suspension for delivering an illegal check to Carolina's Nathan Gerbe in last Saturday's loss to the Hurricanes.
10/26 10:40:59 ET