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Philadelphia Flyers (2-7-0, 4pts) at New York Islanders (4-3-3, 11pts)
Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum, October 26th, 2013
Flyers (5) – Islanders (2)
SOG: 32-28 PHI
Pre-Game Quips & Questions (Stats courtesy of NYI Gameday Notes)
The New York Islanders are coming off a huge win last night in Pittsburgh. Although being heavily outshot (42-25) and a few gaffes leading to Penguins converting on goals, the team played a full 60 minutes, capped off with a tremendous effort in the third period. The Islanders come into tonight’s game atop the National Hockey League on the power play (30.3%) and now tied for fourth on the penalty kill (86.7%).
The NHL and its fans pride the League on its parity. The Flyers head into the Coliseum in the basement of the Metropolitan Division with just two wins resulting in four points. As the Islanders saw against Buffalo, they’ll need to stick to their game and not treat this game any differently than they treated the game in Pittsburgh last night. In a league where any time can win at any time and no points come easy, the Isles will have to refocus and play a complete game tonight.
Michael Grabner makes his return to the lineup tonight after completing his two-game suspension. Although the penalty kill did a great job during his absence, having Grabner back on both sides of the puck will be a welcome addition to the roster.
After a couple glaring mistakes in last night’s game, how will Matt Donovan rebound? These mistakes are part of a rookie’s game, but how these youngsters respond to them is what makes the difference in a mediocre season or one in which truly benefits the team from his play.
One of the biggest issues for the Flyers is getting the puck to the back of the net. The Flyers currently rank 29th in scoring (13G), averaging just 1.44 goals per game. Providing no help with that number is Philadelphia’s captain, Claude Giroux. In nine games, Giroux is sitting at three assists with a zero still occupying the goal category. Will the Flyers find their scoring ways or will they continue their troubling pattern of minimal offense?
Although the Flyers have had difficulty scoring, goaltender Steve Mason has only allowed 15 goals on 214 shot attempts (.930 SV%). As much as the Flyers offense has struggled, Mason has done a great job keeping the puck out of the net. Will Mason continue this trend or will the Islanders break his strong start?
- O: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Bouchard-Nielsen-Bailey; Grabner-Regin-Clutterbuck; Martin-Cizikas-Boulton
- D: MacDonald-Hamonic; Hickey-Martinek; Donovan-Carkner
- G: Kevin Poulin
- Brock Nelson – Healthy
- Colin McDonald – Healthy
- Brian Strait – Upper body injury (day-to-day)
- Lubomir Visnovsky – Upper body injury (IR)
- Period 1: (04:30) Vincent Lecavalier (2). Mark Streit, Claude Giroux 0-1
- Period 1: (05:30) Jakub Voracek (1). Brayden Schenn, Erik Gustafsson 0-2
- Period 1: (10:16) Kyle Okposo (4). Thomas Hickey, John Tavares 2-1
- Period 1: (18:13) Vincent Lecavalier (4). Michael Raffl, Marl Streit 3-1
- Period 2: (10:30) Frans Nielsen SHG (7). Peter Regin 3-2
- Period 3: (08:53) Vincent Lecavalier (5). Nicklas Grossman, Sean Couturier 4-2
- Period 3: (18:28) Matt Read (2). Nicklas Grossman, Sean Couturier 5-2
- Period 1: (04:10) Andrew MacDonald. Hooking
- Period 1: (06:43) Eric Boulton. Fighting
- Period 1: (06:43) Jay Rosehill. Fighting
- Period 1: (14:22) Michael Raffl. High-sticking
- Period 1: (14:22) Matt Martin. Roughing
- Period 2: (04:26) Zac Rinaldo. Charging
- Period 2: (09:21) Michael Grabner. Slashing
- Period 3: (03:10) Zac Rinaldo. High-sticking
- Period 3: (13:05) Radek Martinek. Tripping
- Period 3: (15:25) Nicklas Grossman. Slashing
- Islanders come out strong in the first couple of minutes and apply some early pressure in the Flyers zone.
- Michael Grabner gets a chance after burning two Flyers. Slap shot off Steve Mason’s stick for the save.
- Thomas Hickey creates a play along the boards, finds Kyle Okposo who rips a shot on net for a goal (looked as though Matt Moulson got his stick on it but Okpso with the credit). John Tavares’ point streak extended to 10.
- Lots of pressure from the Isles to start the period. They came out with much more urgency.
- Travis Hamonic draws a chargin penalty and the Islanders go on their first power play of the game.
- Frans Nielsen and Peter Regin lead a two on one charge during the penatly kill and Nielsen converts on the backhand for the first short-handed goal of the season.
- Penalty kill better. Kills off the second of two Flyers power plays on the game.
- Islanders go on the power play from a Flyers high stick.
- Through the first seven minutes of the third, the Islanders have controlled the period.
- Kyle Okposo’s stick is slashed out of his hand and the Isles go back on the power play.
- Flyers Sean Couturier outworks Andrew MacDonald and draw a penalty. Flyers go on their first power play.
- Early in the power play, Vincent Lecavalier’s shot is deflected off of Travis Hamonic’s stick for a goal.
- Jakub Vorachek skates in with little defense. Frans Nielsen blocks Kevin Poulin for an easy Flyers goal.
- On a 2-on-2 rush, Josh Bailey and Matt Carkner get breat badly for the Flyers third goal of the period.
- Islanders power play was very weak. Not much doing at all. Never really got set up.
- Isles do a poor job trying to clear the puck. A slashing penalty is called against Michael Grabner.
- The power play has gotten zero shots on goal through two power plays.
- Isles very sloppy job trying to keep the puck in the zone. Thomas Hickey is caught in the zone and can’t track down Vincent Lecavlier who scores his third of the night to cap off the hat trick.
- Radek Martinek goes to the box for tripping.
- Flyers ice the game on the empty net.
Post-Game Responses & Reactions
- Period one saw the Islanders out shoot the Flyers 15-11, but the Flyers capitalized on their chances. Philadelphia did a much better job on faceoffs and the defense was an obvious weakness for the Islanders after 20 minutes. The power play also made a point to exploit the Islanders defense and went one for one with the man advantage. Overall, not a strong first period for the Isles, and certainly not Kevin Poulin’s fault on at least two of the three Flyers goals.
- Period two the Islanders played with much more urgency than they did in the first. Although they only registered five shots on goal, they were able to convert on a short-handed opportunity and kill the only Flyers power play they faced during the period. They still struggled in the circle, but overall, a stronger showing from the team.
- Period three the Islanders controlled the puck to start the third, it wasn’t enough to make a comeback like they did last night in Pittsburgh. The power play was basically non-existent, getting only one shot of during three opportunities. Although his save percentage and box score may tell a different story, Kevin Poulin was not the reason for the Islanders loss tonight. Poor defensive play yet again lead to another disappointing loss at home.