The Flyers head to New York for Monday afternoon’s showdown with the similarly woeful Islanders for the second-to-last game of what has been a disastrous six-game road trip.
Philadelphia (6-9-1) comes into Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum having lost two in a row
and three of their last four. Flyers goalies allowed sixteen goals overall in the last four games away from the Wells Fargo Center, nine of which came in the last two games.
These goaltending difficulties come at a bad time for the scoring-challenged Flyers, who enter Monday’s contest ranked twenty-fourth in goals scored per game and eighteenth in Power Play percentage. Captain Claude Giroux has yet to hit his stride, and Scott Hartnell is still recovering from foot surgery. The team overall has failed to find any kind of offensive groove this season.
The Islanders (6-7-1) enter the contest following a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils, who beat the Flyers 5-3 Friday. New York is seventh in goals per game (3.1) and 31st in penalty minutes (the Flyers are third), but twenty-sixth in goals allowed per game (3.4), leading to a scoring differential
of -29. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov has posted a 2.81 goals against average in his twelve starts.
C John Tavares will look to continue an impressive hot streak that has seen him net seven goals and two assists in his last five games. He is tied for the league lead in goals at eleven with Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek and Pittsburgh’s James Neal.
Ilya Bryzgalov (2.60 GAA) will most likely return to the net after two days’ rest after Brian Boucher got the start versus the Canadians, since the Flyers played consecutive games Friday and Saturday. Bryzgalov allowed four goals on seventeen shots Friday.
Consistency has been an issue for the Flyers this season. The Canadians out-shot the Flyers
29-19, a far cry away from last Monday’s game against Toronto, for example, when the Flyers out-shot the Maple Leafs 45-24 (yet still lost).
The team has also had sixty-four power play opportunities this season and scored on only eleven
of them. The Islanders, who have sixteen goals in fifty-eight such opportunities, rank second in the NHL only to the St. Louis Blues.
Monday’s game will be the first of four between the Flyers and Islanders this season. The Flyers went 4-2 against New York last season. Currently, the two teams are tied for fourth in the Atlantic division with thirteen points apiece. The game is slated to start at 1:00pm.