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Weekly Flyers Preview: Nov. 23-Nov. 29

The Flyers begin a brutal stretch against teams in playoff position, while looking to get revnge on the Rangers over the holiday weekend.

MondayNovember, 24, 2014 @ New York Islanders (14-6-0, 28 points, 2nd Metropolitan)

The Islanders are hot, winning their last three and eight of nine. This streak includes a sweep over the Penguins, which has elevated them all the way to second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Budding superstar John Tavares has somehow still flown under the radar, leading the Islanders in points with 20, while he is second on the team in goals with eight. Brock Nelson leads New York with ten goals, approaching his career high of 14 this early in the season.

The Islanders have played well thanks to new additions Johnny Boychuk (two goals, 13 points), Nikolay Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski (both with four goals).

However, one of the bigger additions has been goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who has steadied the Islanders between the pipes. This season, Halak is 9-4, with a 2.42 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

Where the Islanders can be beaten is on the man advantage. They have the sixth-worst penalty kill at 75.4 percent. However, a team may only get a few cracks at that penalty kill as the Islanders have been shorthanded the fifth least amount of times (61, 3.05 per game).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 @ Detroit Red Wings (10-5-5, 25 points, 4th Atlantic)

The Red Wings had been on a bit of a roll, winning four of six before losing 4-1 to Toronto on Saturday.

Detroit’s offense is 13th in the league, averaging 2.75 goals per game. Usual leader Pavel Datsyuk has only played ten games this season and is day-to-day with a groin injury. When he has been in the lineup, he has been great, scoring five goals and eleven points. Datsyuk has missed the last four games, and six of the last eight.

Henrik Zetterberg leads the team with 17 points, but only has four goals on the season. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar have been passed the torch as Detroit’s goal scorers, as they each have nine goals.

A pair of Wings, Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen have six goals apiece.

Jimmy Howard has been a rock for Detroit in net, winning eight games this season. He is currently tied for sixth in goals against average at 2.03 and his .922 save percentage ranks eleventh. Overall, Detroit only allows 2.3 goals per game (eighth).

While Detroit’s power play is a pedestrian 19th (18.8 percent), their penalty killing is second only to Chicago, killing off 90.1 percent of man advantages.

Friday, November 28, 2014 vs. New York Rangers (9-7-4, 22 points, 3rd Metropolitan)

Saturday, November 29, 2014 @ New York Rangers

The Rangers blanked the Flyers 2-0 in their meeting last Wednesday. The Flyers failed to score on backup Cam Talbot, who saved 31 Flyers shots in the Ranger win.

This time around, the Flyers will likely see Henrik Lundqvist for at last one of the two games. This season, Lundqvist is 8-5-3 with a un-King-like 2.51 goals against average. His save percentage is .914, which ranks 26th in the league. Talbot’s only win this season came against the Flyers and that outing dropped his goals against average from 3.48 to 2.70.

For the NHL’s tenth ranked offense (2.80 goals per game), Rick Nash continues to light the lamp with 14 goals, putting him on pace to hit the 50 goal mark, which would be a career high. Nash also leads the club with 21 points.

Marty St. Louis has contributed with eight goals and Derick Brassard has six for the Blueshirts.

Despite the offensive firepower, the Rangers still struggle on the power play, ranking 23rd in the NHL at 15.5 percent. In the last meeting between the two teams, Nash scored a power play goal.

Weekly Trivia:

When is the last time the Flyers won a playoff series against the Islanders, Red Wings or Rangers?

First one to reply to @realdeal411 or @TCLFlyers on Twitter with the correct answer is the winner!

Last Week’s question & answer: How many hattricks do the Flyers have against the Wild and Blue Jackets, combined?

Answer: Zero

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Dan MacNeal

Staff Writer
Twitter: @Realdeal411@TCLFlyers