Isles look to bounce back vs. Flyers
NEW YORK — If the New York Islanders are going to bounce back from their worst loss in the last two seasons, they'll have to do so against a Philadelphia Flyers squad bursting with positive momentum after one of its most dramatic wins of the year.
The Islanders continue a five-game homestand Thursday night, when they host the Flyers in a clash of Metropolitan Division rivals at Barclays Center. New York is coming off a 6-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, while Philadelphia heads into Brooklyn following a dramatic 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
The Flyers tied the game on a goal by Mark Streit with 1:04 left in the third period before Jakob Voracek scored the winner just 1:41 into overtime. It was the fourth comeback win of the season for Philadelphia (5-5-1) and the second time it has scored the equalizer in the third period.
“I think that's a trait within the locker room,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “We've been able to do it a couple times and come out of a game with points, but that's not a position you want to be in.”
It beats the position the Islanders were in Tuesday, when the Lightning scored six unanswered goals in the first 32 minutes as fans at Barclays Center chanted for the firing of New York head coach Jack Capuano.
“It's not the first time it's happened, right?” said Capuano who is the fifth-longest tenured head coach in the NHL.
The six goals were the most the Islanders (4-6-0) have given up in a home game since moving to Barclays Center last season, while the five-goal deficit matched their most lopsided defeat in that span.
“I think you always try to learn from it,” Islanders center and captain John Tavares said. “But it's a long season and a lot of games still coming up, so we've just got to put it behind us and get better (at practice Wednesday) and obviously be ready to play Thursday.”
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak worked by himself during Wednesday's practice, an indication he will draw the start Thursday. Steve Mason will likely start for the Flyers after Michel Neuvirth earned the win in the opening game of the back-to-back set Wednesday.
Halak, who backed up Thomas Greiss the previous two games before relieving Greiss in the first period Tuesday, is 9-4-0 in 13 career appearances against the Flyers. He took the loss the last time he opposed Philadelphia on Jan. 9, when Halak allowed all four goals in the Islanders' 4-0 defeat at Wells Fargo Center.
Mason is 7-2-3 in 14 career appearances against the Islanders. He earned the win the last time he opposed New York on March 21, when Mason stopped all but one of the 24 shots he faced in the Flyers 4-1 win at Barclays Center.