Game Preview: NY Islanders @ the Philadelphia Flyers

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

The NY Islanders (31-27-15) will take on their division rivals the Philadelphia Flyers (36-29-10) tonight in the city of brotherly love. The Flyers and Islanders are competing for the final spot in the Eastern Conference wild card race. Hopefully tonight won't be some big april fools prank and the Islanders can hang on to their spot in the race.


After a short Florida roadtrip, the Islanders left 1-1-0, after facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 30th. The Isles lost 4-1 despite opening the scoring. Kyle Palmieri scored just two minutes into the first period, deflecting a Ryan Pulock shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning would score twice during the first period to give them the 2-1 lead. Darren Raddysh scored his first power play goal of the season on the only power play for the Lightning to tie the game at 1. Anthony Cirelli scored his first goal of the game just 25 seconds later to make it 2-1. The Islanders overcame their second period struggles, keeping Tampa's offense at bay and holding them off of the scorecard, and outshooting them 15-8 for the period. In the third period, Steven Stamkos tipped a goal in with what was believed to be a high stick, but was reviewed and called a good goal. Cirelli iced any hope of a comeback with three minutes remaining and an empty net goal for the 4-1 victory.

The Flyers are also coming into tonight's matchup after a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, who the Islanders will take on at UBS Arena tomorrow night on the second half of a back-to-back. with a 5-1 loss, the Flyers have lost four-straight games and are looking for a bounce back game tonight. The Flyers had over 21 penalty minutes, and outshot the Hawks 31-24. Tyson Foerster had the loan goal for the Flyers just 17 seconds into the second period to make it a 2-1 game, but the Flyers were unable to mount any form of a comeback against the Hawks.


Tonight is the third and final meeting between these two teams, having met twice in three days back in November.

Their first matchup was on November 22nd, where the Islanders beat the flyers 3-2 at UBS Arena, ending their 5-game win streak. Anders Lee opened the scoring 1:49 into the first period. His goal was assisted by Oliver Wahlstrom, someone whose time with the Islanders seems to be coming to an end. Brock Nelson scored his first of the game and 9th goal of the season a little over midway through the second period to make it 2-0. Defenseman Cam York brought the Flyers within one with his third goal of the season just a minute later. Nelson scored again in the third period, both goals having been assisted by Adam Pelech and Pierre Engvall. Joel Farabee brought the Flyers up to within a goal with 5 minutes remaining in the third period. Ultimately the Flyers were unable to mount a comeback, and the Islanders still hadn't scored an empty net goal at the time of this game, for a final score of 3-2 Islanders.

The Flyers got their revenge just 3 days later as the two teams met back at UBS Arena. The Flyers won 1-0 in a shootout, the most thrilling way to win a hockey game.... (that statement is obviously an April Fools joke). Samuel Ersson was in net for the Flyers and ended their three-game win streak with 25 saves in game, and four saves in the shootout. The Flyers had 40 shots on net for the night, keeping Ilya Sorokin busy all night. Both Ersson and Sorokin were credited with shutouts on the night. Foerster scored the lone "goal" of the game in the 4th round of the shootout.


No Islander had a better month of March than Palmieri. The 33 year old had 9 goals in 14 games during the month, giving him 24 goals on the season. The Islanders need Palmieri to stay hot, consistently, in order to bring them closer to a playoff spot. Getting some help from the defenseman offensively is not something seen by the Islanders much, but Pulock has three assists in his last 5 games, and scored a goal against the Florida Panthers. Semyon Varlamov is set to start his third straight game for the Islanders. He is 3-1-1 in his last 5 games, and has proven he belongs in the starters net as of late.

Jamie Drysdale is set to return to the Flyers lineup tonight. Drysdale was traded from the Anaheim Ducks on January 9th, and last played on February 25th due to an upper body injury. Travis Konecny has five points in his last five games, and has a career high 64 points on the season.



Anders Lee - Bo Horvat - J.G. Pageau
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Casey Cizikas - Mat Barzal - Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin - Kyle MacLean - Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Mike Reilly - Robert Bortuzzo

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin


Tyson Foerster - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett - Morgan Frost - Cam Atkinson
Joel Farabee - Scott Laughton - Nicolas Deslauriers
Noah Cates - Ryan Poehling - Garnet Hathaway

Cam York - Travis Sanheim
Egor Zamula - Erik Johnson
Nick Seeler - Jamie Drysdale

Samuel Ersson
Ivan Fedotov