NHL

Islanders-Flyers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Six years have passed since the New York Islanders last made the playoffs or the Philadelphia Flyers failed to qualify.

Both of those runs are now over.

Two days after their postseason drought officially ended, the Islanders look to maintain their April point streak Thursday night and beat a Flyers team in the midst of a solid stretch that's coming far too late.

A regular season-ending five-game road trip could have left New York fans unable to see their team in person again until the fall, but now they're assured of at least two more games this spring. That's because there will be playoff hockey on Long Island for the first time since 2007 thanks to New York earning a 4-3 shootout loss over Carolina on Tuesday while ninth-place Winnipeg lost in regulation.

"You know we're happy to be there and give ourselves an opportunity to compete in the playoffs," said top scorer John Tavares, in his fourth season with the Islanders. "A lot of us haven't had that experience."

Tavares notched his 27th goal with 1:01 left in regulation to help New York improve to 8-0-3 in April.

That run has moved the Islanders (24-16-6) into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, within reach of Toronto for the No. 5 seed and two points ahead of Ottawa and the Rangers. New York closes the regular season Friday in Buffalo before beginning the playoffs next week.

"Our guys have battled hard and they deserve it," coach Jack Capuano told the team's official website. "Most importantly, our fans deserve it. They're passionate. They've been with us. They haven't seen playoff hockey in a while. I'm proud of what the guys accomplished."

Philadelphia fans are very used to seeing postseason hockey. The only time their team missed the playoffs in the last 19 years came in 2007, but Thursday will be the last Flyers' home game until next season because they were eliminated from contention last Friday.

That bad news came in the middle of a stretch during which Philadelphia (21-22-3) has won four of five, scoring at least four goals in each victory.

"It's not fun where we are at in the standings," said Simon Gagne, a former 40-goal scorer who has five in 36 games this season. "There are a lot of high expectations this year, but I think everything you're doing right, it's to help management to show what kind of team we have next year with those young players."

One of those players is 24-year-old goaltender Steve Mason, who has a 2.08 goals-against average in six games since being acquired from Columbus. He's won his last three starts, including a 39-save performance Tuesday in a 5-2 victory over Boston.

Jakub Voracek leads the team with a career-high 21 goals and has four in the past five games for the Flyers, whose 14-7-2 home record is the best among teams which won't make the postseason.

New York's 14-5-3 road record is one of the league's best, including 8-1-2 in the last 11.

The Islanders won their only trip to Philadelphia, 4-3 in a shootout March 28, and beat the Flyers 4-1 on April 9 in the last matchup.

Tavares scored in each win and totaled a plus-2 rating after having a minus-3 in a 7-0 home loss to the Flyers on Feb. 18 in the teams' first meeting.

Ilya Bryzgalov is 3-0-2 with a 1.55 GAA in his last five starts against the Islanders.

Tagged: Islanders, Flyers, John Tavares

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

LA mayor at Kings rally: 'This is a big f**king day!' Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Highlights: Rangers/Kings - Game 5 Posted: Jun 14, 2014
Watch highlights of the Kings' 2OT win over the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt