Flyers Set To Face Islanders For Last Time This Season
The Philadelphia Flyers (40-22-7) and the New York Islanders (28-31-11) will meet for the final time this season when they face each other tonight New York.
The Flyers won the last meeting between these teams (6-2), even though they entered that game with a 3-5 record in the eight games prior.
A different Flyers team will be coming to the arena tonight.
They enter tonight's game 7-3 in their last ten, while Ilya Bryzgalov tries to extend his shutout streak. His streak is now at 196:13, something that has not happened between the Flyers pipes since John Vanbiesbrouck did it in 1999.
Bryzgalov is playing big in net, which has helped him stop 152 of the last 154 shots he has faced, amassing an outstanding .987 save percentage.
Tonight he can surpass Beezer's record of 227:40 if he and the Flyers can hold off the Islanders roughly past the 13-minute mark of the second period.
If the Flyers shutout the Islanders tonight, Bryzgalov would be the first goaltender in Flyer's history to do so in four consecutive starts.
The NHL modern era record for the longest shutout streak belongs to former Flyers goaltender, Brian Boucher, who accomplished the feat in 2004 while playing for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Boucher went five games (332:01) without surrendering a goal, stopping 146 shots during that span.
It is important to note that the NHL's modern era started when the center ice red-line was added in 1943-44.
That being said, there were two other goaltenders in NHL history who have had longer shutout streaks than Boucher, ranking him third all-time.
George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens went 343:05 without surrendering a goal in the 1928-29 season while Alex Donnell of Ottawa had a 461:29 run in 1927-28. Impressive feats, which should not be overlooked.
Tonight is a dangerous game for the Flyers as the Islanders are not going to see the post season again this year.
That means there will be plenty of players playing for jobs, whether it be for the Islanders or some other NHL franchise, which will give the otherwise unmotivated team something to play for.
Evgeni Nabokov can give the Flyers fits at times and with the up and down offense the Flyers have displayed lately, the Flyers will have to get traffic in front and take away his lanes.
The Flyers and their fans hope the empty net goal scored by Danny Briere against the Devils Tuesday night gets him back on the scoring track again.
Sometimes goals like that can do it, but for some natural goal scorers it takes a regular goal to get their mental confidence back.
The Islanders snapped their 13 game winless streak in Philly against the Flyers earlier this season and have a chance at a series split for the season with a win tonight.
It would be the first time in the last four seasons that the Islanders and Flyers split a season series.
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