The New York Islanders face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time since eliminating them from the playoffs last season in seven games. Philadelphia will be looking for a little bit of revenge, but the Islanders will be looking to just curb their current three-game skid.
They’ve dropped games to New Jersey and two against Washington on their first lengthy road trip of the season. Now they have to face a Philadelphia team that has won two straight games.
As has been the case since the road trip started, what the Islanders lineup will look like remains a mystery. On Thursday Oliver Wahlstrom made his season debut and scored his first NHL goal. Both he and Bellows were in the Islanders lineup, but the team had to put Ilya Sorokin on the taxi squad.
Both Sorokin and Bellows were placed back on the taxi squad yesterday and Sorokin was back up with the Islanders, but the moves could purely be paper transactions. Islanders head coach Barry Trotz did indicate on Friday that Sorokin could one fo their two games with Philadelphia.
And if there was any concern about Ryan Pulock not being in the Islanders lineup this evening, that can be put to rest. Pulock did practice briefly with the team on Friday.
Trotz did refer to him as a game-time decision, but added that he “anticipates him playing.”
“We just have to get back to restart mode, a bit of a reset and hopefully we can get something building in the right way. I think our mindset is much better."
Trotz ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/y6NQuDsefl
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 30, 2021
The Islanders sit in seventh in the East Division with a 3-4-0 record and have been outscored in their last three games by a score of 11-5. New York struggled to establish their game in two of those losses and in the third they let a three-goal lead slip away.
“I think we just have to get back to the identity,” Jordan Eberle said. “Just winning battles, competing. … We know the way we need to play to have success. We’ve done it. We’ve had success with it and I don’t think there’s any guy in this group that doesn’t care for one another and doesn’t play for one another. You have all the ingredients there, it’s just a matter of going out and doing it.
“It’s the best thing about hockey is we have an opportunity tonight to go get a win and move forward from then. I have no question in my mind that this group will turn around and start to get it going.”
“I think we just have to get back to the identity: winning battles, competing. We know the way we need to play to have success. We’ve had success with it and I don’t think there’s any guy in this group who doesn’t care for one another or play for one another.”
Eberle ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ioeP9vnuvB
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 30, 2021
The Islanders could be facing Philadelphia without their leading scorer from the 2019-20 season, Travis Konecny. The Philadelphia forward did not practice with their power-play units and skated with the other scratches at practice today, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Alain Vigneault will not speak with reporters until 4:45, so there should be more concrete lineup news for Philadelphia then.
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Leo Komarov — Brock Nelson — Josh Bailey
Kieffer Bellows — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Noah Dobson — Andy Greene
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Jakub Voracek leads Philadelphia in points with nine and assists with eight this season. James van Riemsdyk is their leading goal scorer with five. … Riemsdyk is one of three players leading the league with four power-play goals. … Philadelphia has averaged 23.8 shots per game, second-fewest in the NHL, and has allowed 34.1 shots per game, which is second-most in the league. … The Islanders went 3-0-0 against Philadelphia last season. It was the first time that the two sides played fewer than four games in a season. … Matt Martin will appear in his 700th NHL game, 567 of which were played with the Islanders. … The Islanders allowed one shot on goal in the third period of Thursday’s loss to Washington, tying a club record. \
How to Watch
Today’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.
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