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Flyers-Islanders preview: Offensive-challenged Philly trying to stop 8-game losing skid

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Philadelphia Flyers

Well, this has gotten embarrassing.

The Flyers (13-18-7), stymied by their pop-gun offense, have lost eight straight heading into Tuesday’s matchup with the New York Islanders (12-13-6) at the Wells Fargo Center.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Flyers suffered 10 consecutive defeats. That was followed by a seven-game points streak, and, now, the eight-game skid.

The Flyers have scored two goals or fewer in six straight games, including Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Isles at UBS Arena.  They have been outscored by 32-15 during their losing streak, an average score of 4-1.9 per game.

Storylines

The Flyers weren’t awful in Monday’s loss, but they did enough bad things to fall into a 2-0 hole and couldn’t recover. The starts of games have been poor for Philly, which has allowed the first goal in six of the last seven contests. That needs to stop, and their power play – which was sloppy and went 0 for 4 Monday – needs to be much better.

Philly is 2-16-2 when surrendering the first goal, and 11-2-5 when it scores first.

The Isles know they must sweep both games from the Flyers if they are going to start climbing the standings. They will be a focused, hungry team tonight.

Because of so many COVID postponements, the Islanders played just their fifth game in the last 30 days Monday.

 Flyers’ projected lineup

Line 1: Claude Giroux centering Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson.

Line 2: Scott Laughton centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.

Line 3: Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Gerry Mayhew.

Line 4: Connor Bunnaman centering Max Willman and Zack MacEwen.

Defense: Ivan Provorov and Justin Braun; Cam York and Travis Sanheim; Keith Yandle and Rasmus Ristolainen.

Goalie:  Carter Hart.

Numbers Dept.

The Flyers are 28th in the NHL in goals scored per game (2.50) and the Isles are 30th (2.29). Expect another low-scoring game.

Defensively, the Flyers have fallen to 24th (3.32 goals per game), while New York is eighth (2.64), which is why it is competitive in most games.

Who’s hot

For the Flyers, right winger Cam Atkinson has two goals and four points over his last five games.

Islanders center Matt Barzal has five points in the last five games.

Projected goalie matchup­­­

Hart (7-12-4) will be aiming for his first win since Dec. 14, a 6-1 triumph over New Jersey. Hart has a 2.94 GAA and .911 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov (2-6-1) is scheduled to get the assignment for the Isles, and he has a 2.59 GAA and .917 save percentage.

How to watch

Hulu and ESPN+ at 7 p.m.

Money line (FanDuel)

Flyers: plus-112.

Islanders: minus-134.

Prediction

Islanders 3, Flyers 2 in a shootout.

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[…] Philly: Things continue to get worse for the Flyers as the team has now lost eight-straight games. […]

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