Game Preview 38/82: Flyers at Islanders

Flyers' Martin Jones
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Goalie Martin Jones (35) during the third period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

For a moment, it felt as if the Philadelphia Flyers were going to find a way to steal a victory against the New York Rangers. Cam York scored his first NHL goal, much to the rejoice of the split crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Unfortunately, they gave up the lead when Filip Chytil scored before Chris Kreider scored the eventual game-winner.

Those are the bare-bones remarks about the most recent loss. There is an emphasis on the team’s “compete level” during this losing streak since Mike Yeo questioned it following a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 6th, 2022. Versus the Metropolitan Division leaders, the Flyers turned in a solid effort. A couple of shifts were weaker than the opposition, and the Rangers cashed in. Philadelphia lost, 3-2, for the third time in a row.

On the road, the Flyers take on the New York Islanders for the first time this season. Currently, the Islanders bottom out the Metropolitan Division. Don’t let their position in the standings confuse you. They’re the favorites to earn the win.

New York Islanders (11-13-6; 28pts)

Over the last six games, the Islanders have earned points in five. Two nights ago, that streak snapped when the Washington Capitals shut them out.

These two teams play each other closely. In the last contest between these two clubs on Long Island, the Philadelphia Flyers lost. The score? In overtime, the Islanders won, 3-2. It’s almost like a conspiracy theory, seeing this score trend like it has.

In terms of health, the Islanders have an advantage. Only Ryan Pulock and Kyle Palmieri are likely scratches.

Lee-Barzal-Bailey
Beauvillier-Nelson-Bellows
Parise-Pageau-Wahlstrom
Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

Pelech-Mayfield
Chara-Dobson
Salo-Greene

Varlamov
(Sorokin)

The above lineup is a projection. Josh Bailey was the strongest skater for the Islanders in their loss to the Capitals. New York held Washington to a 1-0 score until Alex Ovechkin scored on the empty net. Based on their play as of late, the Islanders could jump out to an early lead against the Flyers. It all depends on how Philadelphia responds, as Yeo suggested before.

A Philadelphia Fly-By

A few things could potentially work in favor of the Flyers. For one, they’ve played decent hockey against quality competition as of late. A loss to the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers isn’t shocking, but their play has improved. Philadelphia had a lead on the San Jose Sharks and the Rangers but squandered it. The issue is finishing.

Martin Jones is the confirmed starting goaltender. His last start was the loss to his former team, the Sharks. Tomas Hertl scored a hat trick, which isn’t even the most recent against the Flyers. Philadelphia has allowed three hat tricks since January 4th, 2022.

There isn’t an updated timeframe on Sean Couturier or Ryan Ellis.

Farabee-Giroux-Atkinson
van Riemsdyk-Hayes-Mayhew
Lindblom-Laughton-Konecny
Frost-Bunnaman-MacEwen

Provorov-Sanheim
York-Braun
Yandle-Ristolainen

Jones
(Hart)

The spotlight isn’t on one player. It’s on a pair of defensemen; Keith Yandle and Rasmus Ristolainen. This defensive unit seems like an upgrade, though Nick Seeler played well versus the Rangers.

Prediction

At this point, I would be foolish to waver away from a 3-2 final score. Who is on the winning side? The Philadelphia Flyers are close to turning a corner, winding up in the win column. Yeo is relying on an experiment on defense to work against the bottom dwellers of the Metropolitan Division.

Flyers 3, Islanders 2

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

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