The NY Islanders ended their seven-game skid on the final day of their road trip against the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Surrendering the game's first goal for the first time in four games, the Isles fought back to score the next three behind goals from Hudson Fasching, Kyle Palmieri, and Mat Barzal. Just as they've done all season, holding onto a lead has been near impossible, as the Flames scored the next two, tying the game at three. Exchanging goals in the third sent the matchup to an extra frame and ultimately the shootout. The skills competition has not been friendly to the Isles over the past few years, but goals from Bo Horvat and Oliver Wahlstrom gave the Isles their first OT/SO win of the season.
The Philadelphia Flyers have been white hot of late, winning their last five. Their most recent victory came at home against a struggling Columbus Blue Jackets team. The Flyers handled the Jackets soundly by a 5-2 final, with multi-point games from Cam York and Joel Farabee.
This is the first time the long-time division rivals have squared off this season after the Isles got the best of the Flyers in three of their four matchups last season. The Isles outscored the opposition 12-6 over four games, taking both games at UBS Arena and splitting in Philly.
The two last faced off against one another in game 80 for the Islanders. Amid their playoff push, the Isles shut out the Flyers 4-0, with goals coming from Scott Mayfield, Brock Nelson, Samuel Bolduc, and Fasching. Ilya Sorokin was perfect between the pipes for his league-leading sixth shutout of the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Not looking at his dominant self this season, Sorokin needs to get back on track if this Islanders team hopes to have any success. He's currently posting a .906 SV% and 3.32 GAA - both well above his career averages. If today's practice was any inclination of who Lane Lambert intends to go with between the pipes tomorrow, Sorokin will get an opportunity against a Flyers team he's shown success against in the past.
The topic of trade conversation during the off-season, Travis Sanheim is leading the Flyers in scoring from the blue line with 16 points (2 goals, 14 assists). He's had a similar season to Noah Dobson, emerging as his team's biggest threat on defense.
Mat Barzal - Bo Horvat - Simon Holmstrom
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Anders Lee - JG Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom
Hudson - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech - Noah Dobson
Alexander Romanov - Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho - Scott Mayfield
Tyson Foerster - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Owen Tippett - Scott Laughton - Cam Atkinson
Joel Farabee - Ryan Poehling - Bobby Brink
Nicolas Deslauriers - Noah Cates - Garnet Hathaway
Travis Sanheim - Cam York
Nick Seeler - Sean Walker
Egor Zamula - Louis Belpedio