Better With Popcorn

Flyers Look to Clear the Long Faces in Long Island

The Matchup:

Philadelphia Flyers (6-9-1) at New York Islanders (6-7-1)
Nassau Coliseum — Long Island, NY
1:00 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet and 97.5 FM The Fanatic

Setting the Stage:

The Flyers continue their six-game road trip as they head to Long Island to take on the Islanders. Currently 1-3-0 on the excursion, the Flyers need a win in order to climb out of the cellar.

They've lost their last two games by a combined score of 9-4, most recently a 4-1 laugher at the hands of Montreal. They were out-shot 28-19 and played like an invisible team for much of the game.

The Islanders aren't a very good team either, but they have won their last two games against Atlantic Division teams. After taking down the Rangers in a shootout, they impressively pummeled the Devils 5-1 this past Saturday.

What to Expect:

Saturday's showing in Montreal was the Flyers worst and most embarrassing loss of the season. They were out-hustled, and they couldn't put any pressure on the Canadiens' back-up goaltender.

Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn each have three goals and eight assists, tying them for the team lead with 11 points. Matt Read leads in goals with six.

With the day off, they hope to rebound against an Islanders team, that despite sharing a seat in the basement with the Flyers, has been playing excellent hockey in their last two games.

John Tavares is on an incredible hot streak for the Islanders. He has scored a goal in five consecutive games, including a hat trick against the Devils on Saturday.

Tavares has 11 goals and 20 points, both team-highs. Matt Moulson has a team-high 10 assists and is second with 17 points.

The Masked Men:

Ilya Bryzgalov will be back in net for the Flyers this afternoon. He's hoping to shake off a poor performance in New Jersey on Friday where he allowed four goals on 18 shots. His 2.60 GAA and .907 save percentage are still very respectable.

Evgeni Nabakov is enjoying a similar season to Bryzgalov. He's seen a lot of action in his 12 starts, facing nearly as many shots as Bryzgalov in two less starts. He has a 2.82 GAA and .906 save percentage, pretty good numbers despite his team being near the bottom in goals allowed per game (3.36).

Keys to the Game:

1. Play Better. For the love of God, just put up a better performance than Saturday. Claude Giroux and Danny Briere criticized the team's effort after Saturday's game and hopefully it lights a fire under their collective rear-ends.

2. Danny & G. Despite throwing some players under the bus, these two need to find their scoring touch tonight. Giroux may be second on the team with 10 points, but through 16 games that's way too low for someone considered to be one of the five best players in the NHL. He hasn't found the net in seven straight games either. Briere has just two goals (and two points) in his last seven games as well.

3. Shut Down Tavares. The 22-year-old center for the Islanders is red-hot right now. He has seven goals on his current five-game goal-scoring streak and would love to continue that against the Flyers. 


“At times, it seems like [we're going through the motions]. It's something that we've talked about. We have to show a little bit more emotion. When you're not winning ... it seems even worse."

- RW Danny Briere on the team's lack of emotion.