The Islanders Look to Put the Struggles of March Behind Them, Play Host to the Philadelphia Flyers



The Islanders, who have been struggling more than usual as of late, will play host tonight for their sixth and final meeting of the season with the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Islanders go into tonight's game on a four game skid, blowing leads in the three most recent losses, the Flyers however come to Long Island with a 6-1 record in March, the first of those wins came against the Islanders on March 1st.  Philadelphia leads the season series 3-2, including wins in both previous trips to the Coliseum. (Photo Credit: CSN Philly/Sarah Baicker)

Playoff Implications

The Islanders are 11 points out of eighth place with only twelve games left to play meaning that a playoff bid is looking highly improbable for the young squad.  They lack a key component to being a playoff caliber team, consistency.  That was evident in their last three losses, they had the lead in all three games and only managed two points, losing once in overtime and once in a shootout.  

The Flyers, however, are currently in fifth place in the East and are battling with the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth place and home ice advantage when the playoffs begin.  

Who to Watch

Although the Islanders have been struggling, John Tavares has six points in the last three games including a two goal performance on Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.  He is 70 games into the season and Tavares has already topped his carreer high in goals, assists and points (30-39-69), the Islanders will need Tavares' scoring touch to be on point tonight in order to play spoiler to the Flyers. (Photo Credit: NHL Snipers) 

Goalie of the month? Ilya Bryzgalov enters tonight's contest on Long Island with three straight shutouts and a streak of 196:13 without allowing a goal, just over thirty minutes away from breaking the Flyers record of 227:40, held by John Vanbiesbrouck.  

The shutout streak of Ilya Bryzgalov may pose a serious problem to the Islanders who have struggled offensively at times throughout the year, and may be without top play maker, P. A. Parenteau.  He missed Tuesday night's game with an upper-body injury and at this time today is still questionable for tonight.  With the playoffs just about out of reach I am sure the Islanders will air on the side of caution and make sure P. A. stays healthy for next season.  

Follow me @ShaneBlackburn, I will be at the Coliseum tonight live Tweeting from the game. 

Make sure to follow The Checking Line- Isles Edition for all your Islanders' news and updates @TCLIsles


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Shane Blackburn's picture

The official Islanders Twitter account has just updated the lines for tonight's game: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Grabner-Nielsen-Parenteau, Ullstrom-Bailey-Niederreiter, martin-Cizikas-Pandolfo.

Mike Flannery's picture

Well written post Shane. Hope you continue to contribute through the off-season.

Shane Blackburn's picture

Thank you Mike I appreciate the feedback. I will definitely contribute through the off-season and hopefully many seasons to come. I really enjoy writing for and reading the other contributors' posts on TCLIsles!