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Gameday: Upset-ready Isles host Flyers

#4 Philadelphia Flyers (40-23-10, 90 pts) at #15 New York Islanders (25-41-8, 58 pts)
Nassau Coliseum - 7:00 PM EST - Uniondale, NY
TV: CSN HD, MSG Plus 2
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 207
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: Lighthouse Hockey

The New York Islanders are the worst team in the National Hockey League, but if you look at their recent schedule, you might not know it. They''ve gone a modest 6-5-1 in the month of March, but in that stretch they've beaten Detroit (a shutout), New Jersey, Chicago, and Montreal -- all playoff teams. The Flyers don't want to be included on that list.

The Isles were very impressive last night against the Wings, in particular goalie Joey MacDonald, who posted 42 saves in that shutout. But one Islanders blogger thinks tonight's game against the Flyers will be a larger test than playing the best team in the league.

Perhaps an even tougher test arrives tonight, when the Islanders host the Flyers after getting home late last night. The Red Wings did not need the two points last night. Philadelphia does tonight.

> Chris Botta, Islanders Point Blank

Color me crazy, but I don't believe that. The story here to me is "how the hell did the Islanders beat Detroit, but we couldn't?" And when I look for an answer to that question, I look at a hot goalie in net for an Islanders team with nothing to lose.

Luckily for the Flyers tonight, that hot goalie won't be playing. Yann Denis is in net for the Islanders, and he's been crushed by the Flyers this season. He's gone 0-2 and allowed nine goals with a 4.84 GAA in those two games. The Islanders also are a tired team, as Botta mentioned they returned to Long Island late last night.

The Flyers will be playing in front of Martin Biron again tonight, and he should be ready for another dazzling performance. He's won 11 straight against NYI, and he's played in 11 of the Flyers last 12 games.

I mentioned prior to Thursday's game that it probably wasn't as important a game as it was to the Panthers. Well, with Carolina looming just a point back and New York having nothing to play for, it's the opposite tonight. The Flyers need a win to keep pace, and the Islanders are a good team to do that against. But as they've taught numerous playoff teams this month, you can't over look the league's worst team. Let's hope the Flyers got the memo.

Questions To Answer

  1. Do the Islanders have an extra momentum jump after beating Detroit last night? Or did they expend too much energy in that performance?
  2. Can the Flyers capitalize on a chance to beat a lowly team?
  3. Does Marty get his 12 straight against NYI, lifting him to Niitty versus Atlanta style ownership?

Go Flyers. Go Villanova.