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New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers: Not Montreal, anyway

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A visit from a once-feared friend.

"Hey C-Mac, we need you to switch sides."
"Hey C-Mac, we need you to switch sides."
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, if you pretend the Northeast New Atlantic Division doesn't exist, then the New York Islanders have just one defeat in November, and the month reclaims its 2014 identity as Extended October rather than The Month Where Seasons Go To Die of 2008-13 vintage.

Alas, the Atlantic Division of Formerly Northeastern and Southeastern Teams is a thing, and it has beaten the Islanders up and down the calendar over the past three weeks. Yes, there are the three regulation losses to the Canadiens, but also similarly frustrating one-goal losses to the Bruins and Sabres.

Tonight the Isles are back in familiar territory, with just their second Metropolitan Division opponent of the month, the once scary but now just rebuild-treading Philadelphia Flyers.

This game is nationally televised on Flyers mouthpiece OLN Versus Comcast NBC Sports: Guaranteed to feature at least one studio voice you hate!

Islanders (10-8-3) vs. Flyers (7-9-5)
7:30 p.m. EST | NBC Sports, radio places
Brooklyn's [ingloriously sponsored] Center
Phaces of Gagne(r): Broad Street Hockey

Isles Notes

For the Islanders, Jaroslav Halak is back in goal after Thomas Greiss mopped up and then narrowly lost against the Canadiens. Halak's last start was his only real stinker thus far, in a season where the goaltending and special teams propped up weak even strength play until the even strength recovered and the special teams fell back to earth.

Also, 38-year-old (that's a mandatory prefix) Marek Zidlicky is back in after being spelled for another one-game appearance by rookie Adam Pelech.

Steve Bernier will be back in for Taylor "Instant Scapegoat Mix" Beck.

Flyers Notes

The Flyers are coming off an overtime win over the Hurricanes, though they lost Sam Gagner (not Simone Gagne, that's a different league traveler) in that game on a scary face-bloodying hit-and-landing. That means...

...is that Colin McDonald's music?! McDonald, the former Islander (and Penguin, and Oiler) is your perfect tweener "veteran guy" for your AHL club and "guy who can do a job" for NHL recalls. He'll no doubt hit lots of former teammates and do the things that make you say, "Hey, that guy tries all the time and has decent hands for a fourth-liner."

In addition to being John Tavares' buddy, McDonald can now add to his claims to fame that he joins the growing list of players selected to be in the lineup over Vincent Lecavalier, the malcontent former star with the untradable contract who is seeing his sixth consecutive scratch tonight.

This via John Kreiser at nhl.com captures his situation perfectly:

"I'm excited just to get another day in the NHL, and to play against these guys," said the 31-year-old forward, who missed 14 AHL games with a lower-body injury before returning last week. "It's always fun to play against your old team. I've been in this situation before and it's never personal, but you always want to prove something."

The Flyers and media are also hot on the case of investigating Barclays Center, which is {drum roll}...different! The Isles have only won six of 12 games there so far, however, so the lighting and the boards and the angles of the seats maybe aren't a home ice advantage. Maybe.

In the video accompanying that last link, first-year Flyers coach Dave Hakstol (who is no relation to Ron Hextall, which is spelled totally different, just like Tkachuk and Tkaczuk, or Gostisbehere and Goc) says, "We are moving a lot of small things in the right direction." Man, coaching through a rebuild. Remember those days.

FIG Picks

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks for tonight here. Don't choose McDonald.