Tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers — fresh off an ugly 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday, and losing goalie Michal Neuvirth (lower body) for the next three weeks — will look to get things back on track with a strong showing in Brooklyn against the Isles.
You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET), or watch live online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
Some game notes to pass your way:
• Tonight’s game features two Metropolitan Division teams separated by 5 points. The Islanders occupy the 1st Wild Card spot, while the Flyers are the first team out of the playoff picture – 3 points behind DET.
• The Islanders are 3 points behind NYR for 3rd in the division. The Rangers host the Panthers tonight.
• Both the Flyers and Islanders are coming off bad losses on Saturday. The Flyers lost at home 4-1 to the Penguins, putting up a season-low 17 shots, while the Islanders lost on the road 3-0 to the Stars. The Islanders have now lost 3 straight (0-2-1), and have not lost 4 straight games all season.
• On Sat, the Flyers lost in regulation for the first time in over 2 weeks (lost 4-0 to EDM on Mar 3). The loss ended a 6-game point streak (5-0-1). The Flyers haven’t lost 2 straight in regulation since early February (@WAS & ANA on Feb 7 & 9).
• The Islanders are 1-3-2 in their last 6 games since losing Jaroslav Halak to injury. Halak suffered a lower-body injury in NYI’s 2-1 vs PIT on March 8. NYI was 11-2-1 from Feb 7 – March 8.
• NYI’s loss on Saturday left them outside the top 3 in the Metropolitan for the first time since Feb 6. After briefly holding the 2nd Wild Card spot last week, PHI is now 3 points behind DET for the final Wild Card spot.
• The Flyers are also without a goaltender – they announced Sunday that former Islander Michal Neuvirth will be out for the remainder of the regular season (3 weeks) with a lower-body injury. Steve Mason will take over the starter’s role in Neuvirth’s absence.
• Neuvirth is 17-8-4 on the season with a 2.28 GAA and a .925 SV%. He had won 4 of his last 5 starts.
• Mason is 17-16-8 this season with a 2.62 GAA and .915 SV%. He is 4-1-1 in his last 7 starts.
• Mason started all 3 previous meetings vs NYI this season, going 1-1-0. He was pulled in PHI’s 4-3 shootout loss on Dec 8 after allowing 3 goals on 10 shots.
• Backup Anthony Stolarz, who was called up on Sunday, has never played in an NHL game.
• Though PHI has gone 4-1-1 so far in a 7-game stretch vs current playoff teams, the loss of Neuvirth comes at a bad time for the Flyers. PHI has 4 remaining back-to-back sets (including tonight & tomorrow at CBJ).
• Their final 6 games are 3 separate back-to-backs in the final 9 days of the season (4/2 – 4/10).
• 8 of NYI’s final 12 games will be at home, where they have not lost in regulation since the All-Star Break. The Islanders are 6-0-1 in their last 7 home games.
• This is the 4th meeting between these 2 teams this season. They will meet again on the final day of the regular season – Sunday April 10 (a makeup game from Jan 23, which was postponed due to weather). NYI won the first 2 before PHI won the most recent 4-0. The Isles are 6-2-0 in their last 8 reg. season games vs PHI, and have won 4 straight home games vs Philly.
• Jakub Voracek returned to the lineup Sat. after missing 9 games with a left foot injury. He had 1 shot in 13:46 ice time, his 4th-lowest this season, in the loss. He has 48 pts (10G-38A) this season, tied for 3rd on the team. Voracek had 17 pts (5G-12A) in the 16 games before getting hurt, leaving him now with 17 pts in his last 17 games.
• The Flyers begin a 4-game road trip tonight. Flyers captain Claude Giroux said, “I think it is good we are going on the road. We’ve got a tight group here. To go city to city to play some tough teams, it is going to be a really good challenge for us and be some fun.” PHI is 4-3-2 in its last 9 road games.
• Rookie d-man Shayne Gostisbehere has 4 goals in his last 6 games, but 0 points in 2 straight games. 15 of Gostisbehere’s 16 goals this season have tied the game or taken a lead.
• Gostisbehere is the 14th rookie d-man in NHL history with 16+ goals, joining Hall of Famers Brian Leetch, Phil Housley and Ray Bourque, to name a few.
• Brayden Schenn has 26 pts (14G-12A) in his last 26 games. Schenn has a career-high 48 points (24G-24 A) this season. His 24 goals this season is also a career-high.
• After going 11-2-1 from Feb 7-March 8, the Islanders have tapered off significantly. Since losing Halak to injury, they have gone 1-3-2.
• Thomas Greiss is expected to make his first start vs PHI this season. In the 5 games he’s started since Halak’s injury, Greiss has gone 1-3-1 with a 2.59 GAA and .918 SV%.
• This season, Greiss is 19-9-4 with a 2.26 GAA and .928 SV%.