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Flyers-Islanders Preview

Saturday, 10.15.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Flyers-Islanders Preview
GAME: New York Islanders (2-2-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (2-2-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.

If not for Peter Forsberg and Simon Gagne, the Philadelphia Flyers would be in an early hole.

One night after avoiding a potentially devastating loss, the Flyers will look to ride the hot play of their top two scorers when they take on the visiting New York Islanders.

Forsberg and Gagne combined for eight points in Friday's 6-5 overtime win over Pittsburgh, a game in which Philadelphia held a 5-1 lead.

Forsberg, who signed with the Flyers after spending the previous nine seasons with the Colorado Avalanche franchise, had four assists, including one on Mike Rathje's winner in overtime.

Gagne had a pair of goals and two assists, and is tied with Forsberg for the team lead with nine points.

"He's the best player in the world," Gagne said of Forsberg. "He's amazing one-on-one. I just try to get open. I know at some point he will find me."

Considering how poorly they have played defensively, the Flyers are fortunate to have split their first four games. With their top two offensive players basically carrying the team, the Flyers have overcome their goaltenders' combined 3.98 goals-against average and .849 save percentage (90-for-106).

Robert Esche, who is expected to challenge for the starting nod for Team USA at the upcoming Turin Olympics, has allowed nine goals in two games. Antero Niittymaki, who created a goaltending controversy by making 26 saves in a 5-2 win over New Jersey on Oct. 7, was shaky against Pittsburgh, allowing five goals on 20 shots, including getting caught napping on a long wrister from the red line late in the third.

The Flyers have also had problems shutting down the opposition's power play, killing off just 72 percent of their man-down situations (18-for-25).

The Islanders are coming off their first road win of the season, 5-3 in Washington on Thursday. Jason Blake and rookie Petteri Nokelainen each had a goal and an assist and Oleg Kvasha added three assists.

Veteran goaltender Garth Snow made his first appearance of the season, replacing injured Rick DiPietro midway through the second period and got the win after stopping 13 of 14 shots.

"Guys have as much confidence in Garth as they do in Rick," forward Mark Parrish said. "(Garth) keeps those old bones limber on the bench, so he's ready."

Snow will start against the Flyers. DiPietro is day-to-day with a slight concussion after getting hit in the head by Jeff Halpern's leg while diving for a loose puck.

New York recalled Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport of the AHL to back up Snow. Dubielewicz, who is 1-1-1 with 6.33 goals-against average this season, had a win and a tie and 1.73 average with the Islanders in the 2003-04 season.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 13): Islanders - 4 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Atlantic Division. Flyers - 2 points, 5th place, 4 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Blake, 3 goals and 4 points; Brent Sopel and Kvasha, 3 assists; Janne Niinimaa, 10 PIM. Flyers - Gagne, 6 goals; Forsberg, 9 assists; Gagne and Forsberg, 9 points; three with 6 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 13): Islanders - Power play: 11.5 percent (3 for 26), 21st (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 90.6 percent (29 for 32), 6th (tied). Flyers - Power play: 5.3 percent (1 for 19), 30th. Penalty killing: 73.7 percent (14 for 19), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Islanders - Snow (1-0-0, 0 SO, 1.94 GAA); Dubielewicz (no appearances). Flyers - Esche (0-2-0, 4.58); Niittymaki (2-0-0, 3.41).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 3-2-1.

LAST MEETING: April 4, 2004; Tied, 3-3. At Uniondale, N.Y., Alexei Yashin, Roman Hamrlik and Adrian Aucoin each had a goal and an assist for New York. Kim Johnsson, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Primeau scored for Philadelphia.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 1-1-0 on the road; Flyers - 2-1-0 at home.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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