Another night, another matchup for the New York Islanders against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After losing two games in a row, the Islanders got back in the win column with a 6-1 drubbing over Philadelphia on Saturday evening.
The Isles slumped in the first two periods in their consecutive losses but had both better effort and execution from the jump in their weekend victory. Casey Cizikas led the way with two goals as the Islanders moved to 44 points on the season.
The power play, which had struggled coming into the game, went 1-for-2 thanks to a Jean-Gabriel Pageau goal in the first period.
And while they lost Thursday, the third period of that game might have been a sign of foreshadowing for the Islanders. Since that three-goal third, the team has outscored Philadelphia 9-2.
“I thought everyone played, I thought everyone played pretty well,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said Monday about Saturday’s game. “So there’s no reason to change a whole lot there.”
Things have been a struggle for Carter Hart and the Philadelphia defensive corps, as they’ve yielded 18 goals over their last three games. As it stands, Philadelphia has allowed 3.55 goals per contest, which is the second-highest total in the NHL. In contrast, the Islanders have allowed 2.22 per game, the best in the league.
The defense did take a hit with Noah Dobson being placed in the COVID-19 protocol, and he’s now missed the last four games.
Sebastian Aho took his place in the lineup initially but Thomas Hickey played Saturday for the first time since the 2019 playoffs. He made the most of his opportunity, notching two assists and getting third star of the game honors. Dobson will be out again Monday and the team will use “virtually the same lineup,” as last game, per Trotz.
“I think it gave us an emotional boost because everyone knows Thomas, they’re good friends with him,” Trotz said. “You’re not going to find a higher quality person. I thought all the struggles he’s had to go through from a professional standpoint with the concussions and being moved up and down and all over and obviously with his personal life with his family, his brothers, all that.
“I think everyone felt really good for him and he brought something to the group emotionally that you can’t put a word, but it had to have a positive effect on our group.”
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Michael Dal Colle — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Thomas Hickey
Philadelphia Flyers Lineup (Projected)
James van Riemsdyk — Sean Couturier — Joel Farabee
Oskar Lindblom — Claude Giroux — Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton — Kevin Hayes — Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl — Nolan Patrick — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov — Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim — Philippe Myers
Erik Gustafsson — Justin Braun
Sean Couturier has six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in his last 16 games since returning from injury on February 7. … James van Riemsdyk leads the team with 13 goals and 29 points in 28 games. His 1.04 points-per-game average is a career-best pace. … Claude Giroux is one goal shy of passing Simon Gagne on the Philadelphia Flyers all-time goals list. … The Islanders are 12-2-1 in their last 15 games and have picked up points in three of four meetings with Philadelphia. … Jean-Gabriel Pageau is currently 14th overall in the NHL in FOW% with a 57.2 success rate in the faceoff circle and he has won a total of 263 draws this year. … Pageau is one goal shy of his 100th NHL career goal.
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will air on MSG+ and stream on MSG Go or on NHL.TV outside of the New York market. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.