Game 65, Preview and Game Thread: New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers

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#14 New York Islanders (26-31-8, 60 pts) at #6 Philadelphia Flyers (34-26-4, 72 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:30 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: Versus HD, TSN 2 HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 205
This is the open game thread.
Get New York reaction at Lighthouse Hockey

Who own dee Isles? We own dee Isles. 14 straight games, 14 straight wins. It's the most dominant current stretch of wins that one team holds over another, and we'd like to see it continue once more. Not so fast, though. The Isles have called in their secret weapon.

Here's Lighthouse Hockey:

When the Islanders last played in Philadelphia, they called up Trevor Gillies for his second-ever NHL game on his 31st birthday, and Scott Gordon used the enforcer for an entirely predictable six shifts and 3:16 of ice time, none of it coming after the mid-way point of the second period.


I'm not going to rehash my rant about the pointlessness of employing players whose sole purpose is to fight (er, sorry, "protect"), but I just don't see how calling Gillies up for tonight's game helps much. Gordon doesn't skate his enforcers much (and I don't think he should), and though their implied "puttin' on the foil" presence on the bench may provide the confidence of security for the other Islanders, I've yet to see evidence of that helping gain wins. Improved special teams -- now that would help garner wins.

Yeah, one of these days we'll be able to write a preview without mentioning the goon the other team has called up for the game. Hopefully. Sigh.

Anyway, hockey: the Islanders have fallen off in the last few months, basically playing themselves out of contention for a playoff spot. One reason why? Rookie phenom John Tavares has completely fallen off the map. He's without a goal in his last 17 games and he has just one goal in his last 27 games.

I bet Chris Pronger got in his head.

After the jump, line combinations, starting goaltenders, and questions to answer this evening.

Flyers Line Combinations

Gagne - Richards - Carcillo
Briere- Carter - Hartnell
van Riemsdyk - Giroux - Asham
Powe - Betts - Laperriere

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Krajicek
Parent - Coburn

New York Line Combinations

Moulson - Tavares - Park
Bailey - Nielsen - Okposo
Comeau - Schremp - Jackman
Tambellini - Weight - Sim

Streit - Gervais
Kohn - Hillen
Meyer - Reese

Starting Goaltenders

Michael Leighton 29 1580 15 7 72 2.73 782 710 .908 1

Dwayne Roloson 41 2374 20 14 116 2.93 1247 1131 .907 1


Questions To Answer

  1. Does Michael Leighton put in another solid outing?
  2. Can Dwayne Roloson prove to the Flyers that they should've gone out and picked up another goalie at the deadline... like, I don't know... him?
  3. Tavares has two goals in four games against the Flyers. Does he break his loooooong funk tonight?
  4. What's the point cushion in 6th place for the Flyers at the end of the night, and are they any closer to Ottawa when it's all said and done this evening?

Note the 7:30 start time tonight. The game is on Versus and 610 WIP. Join us here for the in-game discussion and LET'S GO FLYERS!

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