The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to put Wednesday night’s pitiful performance behind them. It was one of their worst losses in quite some time.
The good thing is that they can put that all behind them with a win against the Islanders tonight.
It’s not going to be easy, however. The Islanders are rolling recently and will have one day of rest while the Flyers played last night.
Projected lines and pairs
There is a heavy emphasis on “projected” in these lines and pairs because Alain Vigneault could throw the lines into a blender on Long Island.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Oskar Lindblom will return to the lineup, with Carsen Twarynski entering the lineup as well. Michael Raffl (maintenance day), Connor Bunnaman, and Andy Andreoff draw out of the lineup.
Robert Hagg was placed on injured reserve. Nate Prosser will replace him in the lineup. Shayne Gostisbehere remains a healthy scratch, which is a curious move. He plays a similar style to Gustafsson and brings more to the lineup.
Hart will start in net.
Follow us on Twitter (@PhillyHockeyNow) and keep an eye out for lineup updates as we get closer to game time.
Betting odds and trends
- The Flyers are +105 underdogs to the Islanders’ -125 as favorites. The total is set at 5.5 goals.
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- Flyers are 0-7 in their last 7 games as an underdog.
- Flyers are 0-4 in their last 4 games as a road underdog
- Islanders are 5-0 in their last 5 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- Islanders are 7-1 in their last 8 games as a favorite.
- Islanders are 6-1 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Flyers are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in New York.
- Flyers are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Home team is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
- Islanders are 16-5 in their last 21 overall.
What to watch for
1. Flyers need a response
The Flyers needed a response after every single goal allowed on Wednesday night; all nine of them. That response never came, however.
Because of that, the Flyers absolutely need a response tonight. Whether it be a defensively sound game, a physical game, or just a good hockey game, the Flyers need to prove that Wednesday was a fluke. However, the bad loss may have just been a sign of underlying issues throughout the team.
2. Top-six shakeup?
The Flyers have had inconsistency throughout the lineup, but one thing has remained consistent recently: the top-six forwards. That was finally broken up in the third period last night, however, and it could carry over into tonight’s game.
One thing that’s for sure is that Alain Vigneault needs to do something to try to get a spark out of his group.
3. Is this a must-win?
Yep, we’re sticking with this point.
If last night wasn’t a must-win game, tonight definitely is after such a poor performance. It’s going to be an uphill battle against a rested (and red-hot) Islanders team. If the Flyers want to make the playoffs, they need to turn it around soon. That starts tonight.
The Flyers and Islanders are set for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop on Thursday night.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images