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Islanders vs. Flyers: Metro bubble battle

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Lineup notes and Thursday night game thread

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders try to rebound from Tuesday’s slaughter when the Philadelphia Flyers visit Barclays Center.

It’s early and the Isles are already underachieving, but this represents an early season contest between two likely bubble combatants. The Flyers currently are in the final wild card spot, while the Islanders are way down at 15th in the conference, 7th in the Metro and...okay, just three points behind the Flyers.

Beauvillier Sits, Halak Starts

Changes to the Isles lineup include Jaroslav Halak in goal, following up his relief duty — and busy middle period — in two-plus periods of work against the Lightning.

Also new is Alan Quine, who steps in for rookie Anthony Beauvillier before the 19-year-old plays his 10th game, leading to paranoia and conspiracy. It’s hard to imagine Beauvillier will be sent back to juniors at this point, and frankly it’s been hard to imagine that since about the third game of the season.

However, a loss like Tuesday is always an easy excuse to change the look and give someone a rest. Unfortunately, fellow 19-year-old Mathew Barzal was not available to step in for Beauvillier, as he has been recovering from strep throat.

The Islanders (4-6-0) are 0-3 against Metro opponents this season, and a regulation loss to Philly (5-5-1) would have them halfway to their total Metro losses (18-8-4) from a season ago. During the past several season their divisional record has been a bit of a bellwhether on their season’s fate, so if you’re looking for early ominous signs about their playoff chances...

Neuvirth Returns

The Flyers have a whole slew of lineup changes, including Andrew MacDonald sitting with an injury and former Isles goalie Michal Neuvirth starting on back-to-back nights.

Check Broad Street Hockey for more on their lineup changes and general rejoicing.

How To Watch

This one is on MSG+ for TV and AM970 The Answer, 88.7FM WRHU, and 103.9FM LI News radio.

FIG Picks

Leave our First Islanders Goal picks here by gametime, which is 7 p.m. EDT.