After two straight losses is tonight’s game with the Philadelphia Flyers? It certainly has that feel with the balance of power shifting in the East Division.
The New York Islanders dropped down to third during their day off on Saturday. They are now a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points back of the division-leading Washington Capitals.
The Islanders struggled in back-to-back games against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and Friday, in which they were outscored by a combined score of 7-1 in the two games. New York’s effort was better on Friday, but it still wasn’t enough to offset a Boston team that had added Taylor Hall at the trade deadline.
“Obviously tough games against Boston. Playoff games and it’s going to be the same tonight,” Anthony Beauvillier said. “We’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to bounce back. It’s a good opportunity for us and our group to just reset and bounce back. Play our way. We’re happy with the way we played, we just didn’t get the results.”
The Islanders will try to replicate that effort this evening in Philly as they wrap up a three-game road trip. New York’s luck against Philadelphia has been a mixed bag this season.
New York has gone 4-1-2 this season against Philadelphia, but they have only managed to come away with one win on the road against them. That was their last meeting at Wells Fargo Center on March 22, when the Islanders won in overtime off a wraparound goal from Anthony Beauvillier.
Beauvllier has had plenty of success against Philadelphia, including four goals in five games against Philadelphia. “It just seems to go in against them and hopefully it’s going to go in tonight,” Beauvillier added.
Five of the seven games this year between the two teams have needed at least overtime to decide a winner.
“They’ve played extremely well against us,” Casey Cizikas said. “No win has been easy. We’ve had to come back in a couple of them, so I think tonight we’re just going to focus on getting off to a good start and playing our game right off the get-go. We kind of haven’t done that for a little bit and that’s something we want to focus on.”
The New York Islanders adjusted their lineup after Thursday’s game as Trotz put Michael Dal Colle and Leo Koramov back into the lineup. Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck were scratched and will miss tonight’s game due to injury.
Braydon Coburn could also get his first crack at the lineup tonight as well, according to Islanders head coach Barry Trotz.
“He’s familiar with that atmosphere or that rink,” Trotz said. “Hopefully there is some good feelings too. … I was thinking about (putting him in) in Boston and I didn’t do it.”
Dal Colle played 9:46 in the shutout loss to Boston, while Komarov was on the ice for 12:24.
Komarov has been a favorite of Trotz’s and there is a good chance he is back in the lineup on Sunday. Dal Colle is a different story despite The Islander bench boss’s affinity for him as well. Friday was Dal Colle’s first game back after having to miss nine because of a lower-body injury.
“I felt I was playing pretty good hockey before I went down so it was great being back out there,” Dal Colle said on Friday.
Brian Elliott is expected to start in net for Philadelphia tonight against the Islanders.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Travis Zajac — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Michael Dal Colle
Kyle Palmieri — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Leo Komarov
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Braydon Coburn
Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek enters tonight’s game with a three-game point streak against the Islanders. … After this game, the Flyers enjoy their first three-day break in the schedule since their 10-day pause due to COVID protocols in February. … Nine of the last 17 games played between the Islanders and Philadelphia since the start of the 2019-20 season have gone beyond regulation. … The Islanders have earned points in 20 of their last 27 games and gone 19-7-1 in that span. … New York’s 2.36 goals-against average ranks third lowest in the NHL. Their 105 goals against this season is the fewest goals through 44 games in club history. … The Islanders have killed 17 of the last 18 penalties they’ve taken since April 3 against Philadelphia.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on NBCSN nationally. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 98.7 FM ESPN New York, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.