Flyers-Islanders: Game 9 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

When the Flyers returned to play last summer in the Toronto bubble, the team that stood in their way for a trip to the conference finals was the New York Islanders. It was a tough, back-and-forth, seven-game series that included several highs, but fell one game short of the desired result. 

It is now 147 days since the Islanders eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs, and the two teams get back on the ice to face each other on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New York Islanders GP G A P
Jake Voracek 8 1 8 9 Mathew Barzal 7 3 4 7
Travis Konecny 8 5 3 8 Noah Dobson 7 1 4 5
James van Riemsdyk 8 5 3 8 Anders Lee 7 3 1 4
Kevin Hayes 8 3 5 8 Jordan Eberle 7 2 2 4
Claude Giroux 8 1 7 8 Jean-Gabriel Pageau 7 1 2 3
Players To Watch 1-30 copy
Jake Voracek has piled up some points lately with a three-assist game and a five-game points streak. Between his work on the power play and his presence on one of the team's top lines, he will need to be among the team's best players in a weekend series with the Islanders.
Mathew Barzal certainly broke out during the playoffs and made himself very familiar to Flyers fans. After scoring in his first game of the season, he was held without a point in three of the next four games. In his last two games, he has a goal and two assists, nearly doubling his point total, a sign he could be heating up right as he enters the weekend series against the Flyers.
Goalie Matchup 1-30

From a shaky start that ended in frustration to the dominance that has been expected of him, Carter Hart went from one end of the spectrum to the other in a hurry. His performance on Thursday was far and away the reason the Flyers won the game. Hart is expected to be back in goal for Saturday's opener against the Islanders.

During the playoffs, the Islanders went from Semyon Varlamov to Thomas Greiss as needed to continue their success and keep advancing. Greiss is no longer with the team, leaving Varlamov as the top dog between the pipes. Varlamov is expected to get the start in Saturday's game, showcasing some solid numbers against the Flyers in recent years.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 1-30

Flyers Scratches: Sean Couturier (rib injury), Morgan Frost (shoulder injury), Travis Konecny (healthy), Robert Hagg (healthy), Nate Prosser (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 1-30

Islanders Scratches: Sebastian Aho (healthy), Michael Dal Colle (healthy), Ross Johnston (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Some potentially big changes are coming to the Flyers lineup. First, Phil Myers was back alongside Travis Sanheim permanently at the morning skate, so it would appear he is in line to return from his injury. Nate Prosser would be the defenseman who comes out. In addition, it looks like Sam Morin will get into a game for the first time this season. He would replace Travis Konecny, who was noticeably part of the extras group during the morning skate.
  • Islanders: The Islanders are dealing without Anthony Beauvillier, who will not play this weekend while he deals with an injury. Ryan Pulock is also a game-time decision for the game, but Barry Trotz said he expects them to play. The rest of the Islanders lineup is expected to remain the same.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (10th), Islanders (19th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (27th), Islanders (17th)
  • Recent History vs. Islanders
    • Aug. 24, 2020 – Islanders 4, Flyers 0
    • Aug. 26, 2020 – Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT)
    • Aug. 29, 2020 – Islanders 3, Flyers 1
    • Aug. 30, 2020 – Islanders 3, Flyers 2
    • Sept. 1, 2020 – Flyers 4, Islanders 3 (F/OT)
    • Sept. 3, 2020 – Flyers 5, Islanders 4 (F/2OT)
    • Sept. 5, 2020 – Islanders 4, Flyers 0
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Islanders
    • Claude Giroux – 52 GP, 18 G, 38 A, 56 P
    • Jake Voracek – 42 GP, 6 G, 27 A, 33 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 37 GP, 11 G, 17 A, 28 P
    • Carter Hart – 2 GP, 0-2-0, 6.21 GAA, .833 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Shayne Gostisbehere needs one point to reach 200 for his career. 
    • James van Riemsdyk needs two goals to reach 100 as a Flyer.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

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