Flyers return from All-Star break to host new-look Islanders
After their mandatory bye week coupled with NHL All-Star weekend, the Philadelphia Flyers finally return to the ice tonight after a 9-day layoff against the New York Islanders.
The Flyers’ final two weeks before the break were a little rocky to say the least, with the club recording a 2-3-2 record in their last eight games before the break. They did close things out on a high note with a 4-0 victory on the road against the Winnipeg Jets on January 28th. Carter Hart racked up 40 saves in his first shutout of the season and Noah Cates, Kieffer Bellows, Owen Tippett, and Tony DeAngelo each notched a goal in the winning effort.
The Flyers and Islanders last met on November 29th in Philadelphia, with the Flyers scoring a 3-1 victory. Those Islanders will look quite a bit different tonight though, as newcomer Bo Horvat will make his New York debut tonight after being acquired from the Vancouver Canucks on January 31st. Horvat was sent to the Islanders in exchange for Flyer-killer Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, and a first-round pick. Horvat racked up 31 goals and 23 assists for 54 points in 49 games as the Canucks’ captain this season before the trade, and he’ll look to pick up right where he left off with his new team.
The trade, and Horvat’s subsequent eight-year extension, signaled that general manager Lou Lamoriello believes in the center and his team as a whole to make a playoff push this season and be a better team down the road as well. The Flyers have not made any trades this season yet but are also in the playoff hunt for the time being, sitting 6 points behind Pittsburgh for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Whether or not Philadelphia can make a serious push, as the Islanders wish to, will remain to be seen as they kick off the first of 31 remaining contests on the schedule tonight.
PHI Record: 21-21-9, 51 pts, 7th in Metropolitan
NYI Record: 25-22-5, 55 pts, 6th in Metropolitan
Last Game PHI: 1/28/23, 4-0 W at Winnipeg
Last Game NYI: 1/28/23, 2-1 OTW vs. Vegas
When: 7:00pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
PHI Goalie: Carter Hart (15-4-8, .911 SV%, 2.88 GAA, 1 SO)
NYI Goalie: Semyon Varlamov (9-6-1, .918 SV%, 2.67 GAA, 1 SO)
PHI Projected Lineup
#25 James van Riemsdyk – #49 Noah Cates – #11 Travis Konecny
#13 Kevin Hayes – #21 Scott Laughton – #74 Owen Tippett
#86 Joel Farabee – #48 Morgan Frost – #57 Wade Allison
#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #38 Patrick Brown – #20 Kieffer Bellows
#9 Ivan Provorov – #45 Cam York
#6 Travis Sanheim – #77 Tony DeAngelo
#24 Nick Seeler – #55 Rasmus Ristolainen
#79 Carter Hart
#32 Felix Sandström
NYI Projected Lineup
#12 Josh Bailey – #14 Bo Horvat – #13 Mathew Barzal
#27 Anders Lee – #29 Brock Nelson – #21 Kyle Palmieri
#11 Zach Parise – #44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau – #10 Simon Holmström
#17 Matt Martin – #53 Casey Cizikas – #20 Hudson Fasching
#3 Adam Pelech – #6 Ryan Pulock
#28 Alexander Romanov – #24 Scott Mayfield
#25 Sebastian Aho – #8 Noah Dobson
#40 Semyon Varlamov
#30 Ilya Sorokin
PHI Injuries: Sean Couturier (back), Ryan Ellis (hip), Tanner Laczynski (upper-body), Zack MacEwen (jaw)
Scratched: Justin Braun
NYI Injuries: Cal Clutterbuck (upper-body), Oliver Wahlstrom (lower-body)
Scratched: Ross Johnston, Parker Wotherspoon, Samuel Bolduc
News and Notes
– John Tortorella wrote a letter to season ticket holders and fans today about the direction of the team, touching on what he’s seen from the club and where the team stands in his process right now.
– This is the 288th all-time meeting between the Flyers and Islanders since the Islanders joined the league in 1972. Philadelphia owns a 144-99-26-18 all-time advantage over New York in the series.
– Kevin Hayes represented the Flyers on Saturday at the All-Star Game. He racked up 2 assists while playing on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Artemi Panarin in the Metropolitan Division’s 10-6 loss to the Atlantic Division.
Broadcast Info: TV – NBC Sports Philadelphia, Radio – 97.5 The Fanatic