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Flyers-Islanders Preview

Saturday, 10.15.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / 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 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 51 16 28 -6 44
J. Voracek 51 8 34 -1 42
W. Simmonds 51 18 16 -6 34
B. Schenn 49 14 15 -1 29
S. Gostisbehere 33 9 18 4 27
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 50 9 9 -5 18
S. Laughton 51 4 10 -6 14
M. Del Zotto 49 4 9 -9 13
M. Raffl 51 6 6 2 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 12 13 7 .916 2.69
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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