Better With Popcorn

Flyers Look For First Win At Home Against Islanders

After being shutout twice in a three game span, the Philadelphia Flyers (34-21-7) head back home to face the New York Islanders (26-28-9).

The Flyers are finishing up a west coast trip in which they went 2-2-0. The Islanders are looking for their third straight win in Philly this season; they have outscored the Flyers 5-1 in those games.

The Flyers who could not manage a goal Tuesday night in Edmonton and will try to get back on the scoring track tonight against the Isles.

Scoring in regulation and overtime was a tough task for both these teams during their February 7th meeting, which took a shootout to decide. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals.

The team surrendered a two-goal lead in the last four minutes of the game allowing Alex Ovechkin to end it in overtime with a slap shot, ultimately losing an opportunity to gain ground on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

 

Matchup

John Tavares was held off the score sheet versus the Capitals and when he does not record a point it does not bode well for the Isles. They are 20-12-3 when Tavares records a point and 6-16-6 when he doesn't.

He has been a Flyers killer since entering the league and has a knack for finding open holes where he can snipe. He will need to be shadowed tonight and his whereabouts will need to be known when in the Flyers end of the ice.

He has two goals and four assists in his last five meetings versus the Flyers. Matt Moulson who leads the Isles with 27 goals has been pretty quiet against the Flyers in his last 16 meetings against them, managing just two goals during that span.

With that being said he seems due to light the lamp and the Flyers will need to keep him at bay.

Scott Hartnell is having a career year this season, a player who was nearly run out of town after last year’s play-off performance. He bounced back well this season and has put all his personal issues behind him this season and it shows up on the game sheet.

He leads the Flyers in goals with 30 and his addition to the All-Star game was well deserved as the Flyers are relying heavily on him for points this season.

When Hartnell finds the back of the net the Flyers are 18-3-3, he did not score a goal in the two home losses to the Isles this season. Look for him to get on the board tonight, first goal of the game?

It would be nice for a change as the Flyers have surrendered the first goal in eight consecutive games and only managed to escape the first ten minutes of a game with a lead once in their last 35 games.

 

Interesting Stats

The Flyers will play 17 games in 31 days in the month of March.

With the Flyers loss Tuesday versus the Sharks and Ottawa's 1-0 shutout of Boston, the Flyers have dropped to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Claude Giroux did not register a shot on goal versus the Sharks, first time that has happened since March 26,2011, a 66 game span.

It proved to be an off night for the team and Giroux who lost 20 of 31 face-offs Tuesday night

Tuesday's game also was the first game on the road trip the Flyers did not surrender a power-play goal

February proved not to be much of a love month for the Flyers as they compiled a 5-7-1 record, their worst stretch of games since going 1-2-2 last April limping into the Play-Offs

 

In A Pickle

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, of the Vlasic pickle family, escaped the Shanahammer and was not fined or suspended on what seemed to be a typical suspend-able hit under the new rule. 

The game was rough with many borderline hits, but this should have been cut and dry. One interesting fact that I had found form a Greg Whyshynski post is Vlasic has one NHL fight under his belt, the opponent? Danny Briere. 

They fought on November 20, 2009, a carry over from the previous season when the teams last played. Was there still some animosity from that game or a more recent one? Was this taken in consideration when Shanny made his decision?

 

For what it is worth, here is the fight video between Briere and Vlasic.

 

 

Step Up Players

Hartnell

Bryzgalov

Giroux