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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 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 64 19 46 6 65
C. Giroux 63 18 42 2 60
W. Simmonds 64 25 18 -2 43
M. Streit 64 9 32 -5 41
B. Schenn 64 12 23 -6 35
S. Couturier 64 13 16 2 29
M. Del Zotto 52 8 17 -6 25
M. Read 64 6 18 -9 24
M. Raffl 49 14 5 6 19
V. Lecavalier 46 7 10 -9 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 8 .924 2.27
R. Emery 10 10 4 .893 3.15
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