Flyers vs. Islanders preview: Move over, John Vanbiesbrouck?

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates the Flyers 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals with goalie Ilya Bryzgalov #30 at the Verizon Center on March 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

7 p.m., Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, New York, USA
ISLES BLOG: Lighthouse Hockey

(wow had some awful math here earlier. deleted like it never existed! look at that!)

If the Philadelphia Flyers reach the 12:50 mark of the second period tonight against the New York Islanders without allowing a goal, and Ilya Bryzgalov remains in the crease for that duration, the goaltender will break an all-time franchise record for the longest shutout streak.

That record currently belongs to John Vanbiesbrouck, who recorded it from March 17 to 26, 1999. It sits at 227 minutes, 40 seconds. Vanbiesbrouck also holds the second-longest streak of all time at 218:42, which Bryzgalov can pass early in the second period this evening against the Islanders.

Bryzgalov hasn't been able to do it without the team in front of him. The Flyers have lost the shot differential battle handily over the course of the streak -- partially a product of the team having the lead and the other team pouring on the shot attempts as they try to get back into the game -- and the defense has come up huge in front of their goaltender. They've been sound positionally, a stark contrast from the bumbling mess they were about a month ago.

Together, can they make franchise history tonight? The Islanders have scored seven goals in their last two games (both losses in OT/SO) and in five games against the Flyers this season, they've put 13 pucks behind Philly goaltenders. None of that particularly matters right now though, as it's quite possible that right now, the Flyers are playing the best hockey they have all season -- at least in terms of a full-team effort.

Expecting a similar lineup tonight to the one we saw on Tuesday against the Devils. If it's the same...

Hartnell - Giroux - Jagr
Wellwood - Briere - Voracek
Read - Schenn - Simmonds
Talbot - Couturier - Rinaldo

Timonen - Carle/Grossmann
Coburn - Grossmann/Carle
Lilja - Gustafsson

Pavel Kubina and Andrej Meszaros remain out of the lineup. Jody Shelley will be a scratch as usual.

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