Islanders-Flyers Preview

Winning road games against division rivals is never easy. It’s

been near impossible for the New York Islanders.

The Islanders try to end a 10-game losing streak in Philadelphia

and notch a rare road win against an Atlantic Division opponent

Saturday night.

For a team that has missed the playoffs four of the past five

seasons and failed to win a postseason round since 1993, it’s not a

big surprise the Islanders (4-4-2) have struggled on the road

against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

The magnitude of those road woes, however, is alarming.

New York is 0-9-1 in its last 10 visits to Philadelphia, 0-8-1

at Pittsburgh and has lost six straight at New Jersey. The

Islanders’ only division road wins under third-year coach Scott

Gordon have come at Madison Square Garden against the archrival

Rangers.

They lost their only division road game this season, falling 3-2

in overtime to Pittsburgh on Oct. 15.

Philadelphia (5-4-1) has dominated the Islanders of late

regardless of location, winning 18 of 20. The Flyers won the first

five meetings last season before New York ended a 15-game losing

streak in the series with a 6-4 win April 1.

Their first visit of this season to Philadelphia comes at a bad

time for the Islanders, who have lost three straight following a

three-game win streak. They were swept in a home-and-home series by

the Canadiens, losing 3-1 Friday two days after a 5-3 defeat at

Montreal.

John Tavares and James Wisniewski were both held off the

scoresheet Friday, ending their respective point streaks. Tavares

had points in five straight while Wisniewski failed to record a

point for the first time in eight games.

Rick DiPietro is scheduled to be in net for New York. He is

1-5-0 with a 3.37 goals-against average in his last six starts

against the Flyers.

Philadelphia won at Pittsburgh for the second time this season,

getting a short-handed and a power-play goal from Claude Giroux in

a 3-2 victory Friday. Dan Carcillo also scored for the Flyers, who

have totaled 11 goals in winning two straight at home.

Carcillo was scratched in three of the previous five games.

“I wanted to get Danny back in there because we are on the road,

in Pittsburgh, and they’ve got some tough players in their

lineup,” coach Peter Laviolette said. ”He brings a physical

element.”

Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky had a strong game with 26 saves but

could give way to Brian Boucher, who has allowed two goals in three

of his four starts this season.

Giroux’s two goals gave him a team-leading nine points, one

ahead of Daniel Briere, who has eight goals and nine assists in his

last 13 games against the Islanders.

An ineffective power play has been an issue for the Flyers, with

that unit converting seven of 45 (15.5 percent) opportunities. They

are, however, 16 for 41 (39 percent) with the man advantage during

their 10-game home win streak against the Islanders.