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Editorials

New York Islanders Philadelphia Flyers Must-Must Win Game

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders mixes it up with Travis Konecny #11 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Flyers defeated the Islanders 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders mixes it up with Travis Konecny #11 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Flyers defeated the Islanders 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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UNIONDALE, NY – MARCH 29: An overhead view of the penalty box at the hockey rink photographed prior to the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY – MARCH 29: An overhead view of the penalty box at the hockey rink photographed prior to the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Keys to the Game

If this is a “must-must-win game” how can the New York Islanders halt their three-game skid and get the two points against a divisional rival?

Stay Out of the Penalty Box

The New York Islanders penalty kill isn’t very good right now. With a 75 percent efficiency on the PK, the Isles find themselves ranked 21st in the league. That doesn’t sound terrible, except when you consider that last year’s 73.2 percent efficiency was historically bad.

The Isles PK is supposed to be better than this with the moves that Lou Lamoriello made in the offseason. But eight games into the season, that’s not the case. The fewer chances the Flyers have to exploit the Isles underperforming PK, the better.

Stick to the Plan

In the Islanders 4-0 win versus the San Jose Sharks, you could see how Barry Trotz’s system was designed to work. Staying tight, keep chances to the outside, and above all make the simple and smart plays. It worked as the Isles stifled the Sharks all night long.

Now go to when the Sharks welcomed the Isles in California and the defense was all over the place, they allowed attackers to easily get to the front of the net, and they made risky plays that rarely worked.

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Next. The Good, Bad, and Ugly So Far

After losing three in a row the New York Islanders need to bounce back and get a win. Staying out of the box and following Barry Trotz’s plan to a tee doesn’t guarantee a win, but it should put them in a great position to do so.

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