NY Islanders (2-6-0) at Philadelphia (3-3-3), 7:00 pm EDT
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) — It was not too long ago that the
Philadelphia Flyers seemed as hopeless as the New York Islanders
currently appear to be.
The resurgent Flyers hope to extend their winning streak to four
games when they host the struggling Islanders in a battle of
Atlantic Division rivals on Thursday.
After dropping its first six games of the season – including a
7-6 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks last Wednesday –
Philadelphia has used a high-octane offense to produce a
three-game winning streak.
Receiving two goals apiece from Simon Gagne, Mike Knuble and
Joffrey Lupul, the Flyers cruised to a 7-0 victory over the
Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. Prior to that outburst, they took
two games from the division rival New Jersey Devils in a
home-and-home series over the weekend.
Netminders Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki, who made 24 saves
on Tuesday en route to his fourth career shutout, have had a
rather easy time protecting leads since the Flyers have
outscored opponents, 16-5, during their recent stretch.
The Islanders, however, have not had as much success lately,
dropping four consecutive contests. Promising youngster Kyle
Okposo and veteran Doug Weight each scored on Monday, but their
efforts were not enough to overcome the New York Rangers in a
The Islanders have won five games in each of the last three
Octobers, but they captured just two of eight thus far with just
one game remaining this month.
The team also could be without goaltender Rick DiPietro, who
suffered a lower body injury in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the
In just his third start since recovering from arthroscopic
surgery performed on his right knee on June 4, DiPietro stopped
10 of 12 shots before being removed.
If DiPietro cannot go, Joey MacDonald will resume the starting
duties – a role he occupied for the first four games of the
season. The 28-year-old MacDonald is 2-4-0 with a 3.54
goals-against average in six appearances.