Flyers vs. Islanders preview: Finally home

Home sweet home.

7 p.m. tonight
Wells Fargo Center
TV: CSN Philly, MSG+2
RADIO: 94 WIP
TICKETS: Starting at $26
ISLES BLOG: Lighthouse Hockey

Wait a second. Are you trying to tell me that the Philadelphia Flyers have lost two straight games to the New York Islanders? The same Philadelphia Flyers that had won about a billion-out-of-a-billion-and-one games against the same New York Islanders just as recently as earlier this season?

Yeah, that's true. The Islanders are actually threatening to take the lead in the season series tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. We cannot allow this blasphemy to happen, Flyers. It's time to win a hockey game.

The frustrating part is that Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is still red-hot. It's not that the Flyers can't score goals -- we know they can, obviously -- but they've been shut down by some really solid goaltending lately. Ondrej Pavelec almost beat them last Tuesday in Winnipeg, Devan Dubnyk was great for Edmonton in that loss, and Antti Niemi was the Flyers kryptonite the other night in San Jose.

It feels like we're harping on it a bit at this point, but half the problem in my eyes is the constant play from behind. The Flyers haven't scored first in eight games, and when you're always trying to come from behind in a game, it alters the way you play. Sometimes that works in your favor -- you get desperate, you play aggressive, you get more chances -- but when it's a trend, it's certainly not a good thing when it comes to trying to win hockey games.

It's of utmost importance tonight for the Flyers to score first. The home crowd is still pretty salty over the current state of the team, and despite how good Ilya Bryzgalov was for most of the road trip, that'll be quickly forgotten if the Flyers allow a goal. We all know at this point how much of Bryzgalov's game seems to revolve around confidence, and if the fans are on him within the first 10 minutes of the first period tonight, it's not going to bode well for anybody.

Game thread tonight at 5 p.m. Catch the action on CSN, MSG Plus 2 in New York and 94 WIP.

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