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Resurgent Flyers host struggling Isles
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their sixth win in seven games when they host the struggling New York Islanders in Saturday's Metropolitan Division battle at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have won two straight and are 5-0-1 over their past six trips to the ice. Philadelphia also has suffered just one regulation loss over its last nine outings, going 6-1-2 since a 7-0 blowout defeat against Washington on Nov. 1. A win tonight would allow Philadelphia to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Philadelphia opened a three-game homestand with Tuesday's 5-2 win over Ottawa and then notched a 4-1 victory over Buffalo on Thursday. Matt Read scored twice and Ray Emery stopped 29 shots to help the Flyers down the visiting Sabres.
Vincent Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell also lit the lamp for the Flyers, while Steve Downie and Sean Couturier added a pair of assists in the win.
Downie has five assists in six games since coming over to the Flyers in a trade last month with the Colorado Avalanche, who acquired veteran forward Max Talbot in the deal. Philadelphia head coach Berube praised Downie's play after his performance on Thursday and talked about how well he fits on a line with Read and Couturier.
"I think he creates offense for them on that line," Berube said of Downie. "He has very good vision with the puck and he's strong with the puck, makes a lot of little plays. He is a good player along the walls, doesn't panic with the puck along the wall."
Philadelphia is 5-7-0 as the host this season. After Saturday, the club will play two straight and eight of its next nine games on the road.
The Isles, meanwhile, have lost two straight, three of four and seven of their last nine contests. New York fell to 0-2 on a three-game road trip by dropping a 4-3 regulation decision in Pittsburgh on Friday, as Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner for the Penguins with 1:16 remaining in the third period.
Thomas Vanek returned from an upper-body injury to record two goals in the loss for New York, which has lost six straight on the road in regulation. The Isles haven't won on the road since Nov. 1, when they recorded a 5-4 shootout victory in Ottawa.
Kevin Poulin finished with 30 saves in Friday's loss.
"He made the saves that he had to," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said of Poulin. "He gave us a chance to win, but unfortunately we left a guy alone in front of the net with 1:16 to go."
The Flyers notched a 5-2 road win over the Isles on Oct. 26 and have won two straight and five of the last seven games in this series. New York has dropped three of its past five tests in Philly.
The Isles are 3-8-0 as the road team this season.
11/23 11:16:11 ET