Islanders vs. Flyers Gameday: Secondary Scorers Present?

We're getting to that point in the year where season series wrap up, and tonight another one comes to a close. Unlike every season since the Flyers bottomed out -- remember when Ken Hitchcock was in his second NHL gig? -- the Islanders actually have a couple of victories and an OT loss among this series' first five games.

(Thanks to NHL math, the Isles are 2-2-1 while the Flyers are 3-1-1.)

Nyi-islestickslim_medium Phi-slim_medium
Islanders (28-31-11, 14th/E) vs. Flyers (40-22-7, 4th/E (5th seed))
7 p.m. | MSG+
| Audio: NHL - WRHU
Nassau [
gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Mem. Coliseum
Where It's Good Ilya Week:
Broad Street Hockey

And how's this for a surprise: Your leading Islanders scorers in this year's series are not John Tavares nor Matt Moulson, the 30-goal brothers. Rather, Kyle Okposo leads with four goals (4-2-6), and Josh Bailey is right behind him at 3-1-4. Next is Michael Grabner with 2-2-4.

In a season marked by offensive struggles, those contributions -- and those of Evgeni Nabokov -- help explain why it hasn't been another desperate year against The Other Orange.

Nabokov, by the way, has stopped 128 of 137 Flyers shots this year, which is a .934 rate. Stand back, regression. (Rick DiPietro was in goal for the 4-3 OT loss.)

On the other side, even though the Flyers once employed Brian Boucher, it is Ilya Bryzgalov -- suddenly in a good run of form -- who's angling for a franchise record four straight shutouts. If he had to pick an opponent to try it against, the low-scoring Islanders sound as good as any. I figure if we talk about it enough we can Howie away any chance of it happening though. (That's how that works, right?)

Matt Read leads the Flyers in this series with three goals and two assists. That's annoying, because the Flyers are rich enough without just plucking 20-goal scorers off the undrafted college free agent market. (Note: In J.T. Brown, are they hot on the trail of another?)

TPS Report-Friendly Reading

Oh, and one more Isles-Flyers comparison from Hornick:

Two NHL teams have led a game 34 times after 2 periods: St. Louis and Philadelphia. Both teams are 30-2-2 when leading after 2 periods. The Isles have led after 2 periods 24 times (15-1-8). That's only one fewer time than Pittsburgh (25: 23-0-2) and three more times than Washington (21).

Despite all that, I'm still gonna pull for a lead in the third period. That's just how I roll.

FIG Picks

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks in this thread. The race at the top is still tight.

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