Flyers-Islanders: Game 36 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It doesn't feel like it can get much lower for the Flyers, especially after not only being the team to lose to the Buffalo Sabres for the first time in 19 games, but to get demolished, 6-1, on the scoreboard. That pretty much answered all of the remaining questions about this playoff race, even if the Flyers still remain three points behind the final playoff spot upon entering Saturday's action.

The Flyers are about to embark on another rough month, facing numerous contenders and not having a lot of time off between games. It all starts with Saturday night's game against the New York Islanders.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New York Islanders GP G A P
James van Riemsdyk 35 13 18 31 Mathew Barzal 37 13 20 33
Joel Farabee 34 14 13 27 Nick Leddy 37 1 24 25
Claude Giroux 33 9 18 27 Jordan Eberle 37 13 11 24
Sean Couturier 24 10 17 27 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 36 11 12 23
Jake Voracek 32 5 22 27 Josh Bailey 37 6 17 23

Players To Watch 4-3

From an offensive standpoint, Sean Couturier has been right in the middle of just about everything for the Flyers of late. His eight points easily tops the list in the last five games for the team, and as one of the leaders, he'll be looking to help the Flyers get back on the right track with their play by his example.
Mathew Barzal is starting to heat up, picking up a hat trick in his last game. The forward has always posted strong numbers against the Flyers, but hasn't really been the center of attention in a lot of games between the two this season. That could easily change on Saturday.
Goalie Matchup 4-3

Carter Hart makes his return to the ice after getting the last two games off. Hart has gone through numerous struggles this season, so this is his chance to show how the reset he just had has helped his game.

It was a strong couple of games for Ilya Sorokin when the Flyers last faced the Islanders. Sorokin limited the Flyers to one goal in each game and essentially helped steal the third game of the three-game series with an outstanding night in goal.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 4-3

Flyers Scratches: Morgan Frost (injury), Robert Hagg (injured), Nicolas Aube-Kubel (healthy), Erik Gustafsson (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 4-3 Updated

Islanders Scratches: Michael Dal Colle (injured), Sebastian Aho (healthy), Kieffer Bellows (healthy), Thomas Hickey (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: One notable addition for the Flyers is the insertion of Tanner Laczynski into the lineup. Though not yet a confirmed part of Saturday's lineup, he received stick taps during stretches after Friday's practice, an indication that the rookie forward will make his NHL debut. In addition, Shayne Gostisbehere returns on the blue line in place of Erik Gustafsson and both Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom will play. It appears that Nicolas Aube-Kubel will be coming out of the lineup to compensate for Laczynski's entrance.
  • Islanders: A few differences from the last time the Flyers and Islanders met. Noah Dobson is off the COVID list and able to play again. Michael Dal Colle also remains out injured.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-18th), Islanders (20th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-29th), Islanders (16th)
  • Recent History vs. Islanders
    • Jan. 30, 2021 – Flyers 3, Islanders 2 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • Jan. 31, 2021 – Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT) (at PHI)
    • March 18, 2021 – Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (at NYI)
    • March 20, 2021 – Islanders 6, Flyers 1 (at NYI)
    • March 22, 2021 – Islanders 2, Flyers 1 (F/OT) (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Islanders
    • Claude Giroux – 57 GP, 19 G, 42 A, 61 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 42 GP, 11 G, 22 A, 33 P
    • Jake Voracek – 47 GP, 8 G, 28 A, 36 P
    • Carter Hart – 5 GP, 2-3-0, 4.44 GAA, .852 SV%

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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