Philadelphia Flyers (17-18-3--37pts)
New York Islanders (19-16-4--42pts)
TV: CSN - RADIO: 93.3 WMMR
1. TONIGHT ON LONG ISLAND
With a win tonight, the Flyers could find themselves within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference… This is the third of four meetings on the year against the two teams with the first two games being split and each team winning on each others home ice… The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout in the last meeting at Phila., while the Flyers won on Long Island by a 7-0 score on Feb. 18… The Flyers have gone 4-for-6 (66.7 percent) on the power-play and a perfect 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in the season series against the Islanders… The Flyers have won seven straight games at Long Island with their last loss coming over three years ago - Apr. 1, 2010.
The Islanders have won six of their last eight games and earned at least a point in seven of their last eight games, going 6-1-1… The Isles have allowed two goals or less in each of their last four games… The Flyers have won four of their last five, but lost their last game, which snapped a four-game winning streak… The Islanders have not allowed a power-play goal in a season-high five straight games (9-for-9), while the Flyers have not allowed a PPG in three straight, going 7-for-7.
3. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
Ilya Bryzgalov is 1-0-1 against the Islanders this season, posting a 1.45 goals-against-average and .945 save percentage… Islanders defenseman Andrew McDonald leads the NHL in blocked shots (104)… The Islanders are 18-2-2 when scoring at least three goals and 1-14-2 when scoring two or fewer… NYI has been tied or ahead in the third period in 33-of-39 games, going 19-9-4 in those situations… The Flyers play the final 10 games of the season in a span of 18 days, including their next six games in a 10-day span… Ruslan Fedotenko has a five-game point streak (3g-2a) which ties his career high… The Flyers have scored 11 goals in the first minute of regulation periods this season.
4. Player to watch FLYERS: Matt Read - (RW) #24
Matt Read has points in five of his last six games after having his five-game point streak snapped in the team's loss at Winnipeg… During that streak, Read had two goals and five points… Read also averages two points per-game this season against the Islanders, posting a goal and three assists in two games of the season series… Overall, Read has nine points (4g-5a) in eight career games against the Islanders.
5. Player to watch ISLANDERS: John Tavares - (C) #91
Tavares is the Islanders leading scorer with 23 goals and 40 points… He has posted at least a point in eight of his last 10 games, recording six goals and three assists in that stretch… He also has four points (2g-2a) in his last four games… Tavares is tied for third overall in the NHL with his 23 goals and tied for 10th with his 40 points… Against the Flyers, Tavares has one goal in the two meetings this season against the Flyers… In both games, Tavares has recorded over 21 minutes of ice time.
"It's good to have a little pressure and a little excitement. Obviously its not the position we want to be in right now but at the same time we just have to have fun with it and come back to make the playoffs."
New York and Philadelphia are in unfamiliar territory as the end of the regular season approaches, with the Islanders in position to earn their first trip to the playoffs since 2007 and the Flyers trying to avoid their first postseason absence since that same year.
One thing that has remained the same, though, is the Flyers' dominance in this series.
Philadelphia looks to win its eighth straight on Long Island and earn at least one point for the 32nd time in 35 meetings when these Atlantic Division rivals face off Tuesday night.
New York (19-16-4) is holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, while Philadelphia (17-18-3) is five points behind the Islanders.
These teams have not played since Saturday, when the Islanders beat Tampa Bay 4-2 at home and the Flyers lost 4-1 at Winnipeg.
Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left, and Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist to lead New York.
"We're working toward what we are trying to accomplish, and we still have a ways to go," said leading scorer John Tavares, who assisted on Bailey's goal. "We still have much we can do better. But we are excited to be in this position.
"This is big for the guys in the room because they are seeing results," said Tavares, who has 23 goals and 17 assists. "The steps we've been taking are paying off."
The Islanders are 6-1-1 in their last eight games.
"We battled hard and we continue to do little things well which bring big results," coach Jack Capuano said. "Our leadership is strong, and we are showing it."
The Flyers had their season-best four-game winning streak come to an end Saturday as they allowed four unanswered goals in a 6:28 span of the second period.
"I just think we shut it down for the second period," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "It wasn't the defense, it wasn't the goaltending, it was everybody."
Philadelphia had earned a point in five straight games and entered on a 5-2-2 surge.
"They played like they wanted it the last 40 minutes," forward Scott Hartnell said. "The last four games we played 60 minutes and tonight we didn't."
The Flyers certainly played 60 minutes in their two games against New York this season. In the last road matchup with the Islanders, they rolled to a 7-0 victory Feb. 18. In the last meeting March 28, Hartnell scored with 30 seconds left in regulation to help Philadelphia salvage a point in a 4-3 shootout loss.
That result gave the Flyers a 29-3-2 record in this series since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Evgeni Nabokov has a 4.46 goals-against average in his last four starts versus Philadelphia.
"As far as I'm concerned, we are in the playoffs," Nabokov told the Islanders' official website. "That's what this is for us. We have to keep rolling. The key here is we can't lose two or three in a row. We have to continue to find a way to get points."
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