Flyers (8-9-5, 21 PTS) vs Islanders (12-7-2, 26 PTS)
Previous Meeting: 11/22/2017, NYI 4 vs PHI 3 F/OT
These two Metropolitan rivals meet on Black Friday to finish a quick home and home series before the month of November comes to an end. Wednesday’s matchup was the first of the season between these two teams, with three more meetings to come throughout the season. New York got the upper hand on Philadelphia on Wednesday in a back and forth affair that ended just :32 seconds into overtime. Returning to the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers will be looking to return to their winning ways and give their fans an early present on Black Friday.
WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF
LISTEN: 97.5 F.M. The Fanatic
PUCK DROP: 4:00 P.M.
LINE COMBINATIONS (Courtesy of Daily Faceoff)
Philadelphia: Flyers Line Combinations
A revamped lineup on Wednesday seemed to spark the Flyers offense as rookie Danick Martel really made an impression on the ice with his speed and aggressiveness in the offensive zone. For a team that’s had trouble scoring this year, having someone like Martel who will shoot the puck at will can hopefully do wonders for this team. Matching up with the Islanders speed seemed to trouble Philadelphia on the road, it will be interesting to see how Coach Dave Hakstol uses his lines with last change this afternoon.
Giroux – Couturier- Voracek
Martel – Patrick- Simmonds
Raffl- Filppula- Konecny
Leier- Laughton- Weal
It seems that Brian Elliot will get the start again for the Flyers today, his play of late has certainly been improving, even if the numbers aren’t piling up in the win column. His start on Wednesday may have been his best of the season, as he produced some top class saves in the blue paint. Elliot made 35 saves on 39 shots in the overtime loss. In his career against the Islanders, he holds a 5-1-5 record with a 2.50 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.
New York: Islanders Line Combinations
It’d be surprising to see the Islanders make any changes after their win on Wednesday. Philadelphia seemed to struggle with their speed at times and were hemmed in their own zone for periods of time during the game.
Lee – Tavares- Bailey
Ladd – Barzal- Eberle
Nelson – Beauvillier- Ho-Sang
Chimera – Cizikas -Clutterbuck
Leddy – Boychuck
de Haan – Pelech
Seidenberg – Mayfield
Islanders Coach Doug Weight won’t reveal his starting goaltender until he drops his lineup at 2:00 P.M. but after picking up his 4th straight win, it’d be surprising if Thomas Greiss wasn’t in between the pipes. The Islanders are in game one of a back-to-back, so Weight could throw a curveball and give Jaroslav Halak the nod instead.
THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH
On Wednesday, the Islanders burned the Flyers for two power play goals. Penalty killing has been a major weakness for the Flyers all season and the woes have gotten worse during their current losing streak. It’s easy to say just don’t take penalties, but this team needs to show real improvement in that area before it’s too late.
In the midst of Philadelphia’s six game losing streak, three of those losses have come on home ice. If the Flyers want to improve, they need to be a better team on home ice. Coming into today, they currently have a 4-4-3 record at home, one of the worst records in the Eastern conference. Home ice is something they’d be wise to use to their advantage once again.
Islanders captain John Tavares sits second in the NHL’s goals leaderboard with 15, it’ll be key for the Flyers to keep him from lighting the red lamp against them like they did on Wednesday. Even though he didn’t score two nights ago, he hurt the Flyers in other ways as he had two assists. One on a 2nd period power play, and the game winner in overtime was an excellent display of puck control as he wiggled away from Sean Couturier and found Josh Bailey all alone to bury his own rebound past Brian Elliot.