12 January 2012
Uniondale, NY -- The Islanders will look to end their streak of bad luck against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight when the two division rivals meet at Nassau Coliseum.
The Flyers have been known to have the upper hand over the Islanders whenever the two clubs meet. It’s a bit of ironic timing, since the Islanders last game was against an opponent, the Detroit Red Wings, that the Islanders had the upper hand.
Last time the Flyers and Islanders met, the Islanders lost 4-3 in overtime on Thanksgiving eve. That game saw the Islanders take 3-1 lead after the first period off two goals from Kyle Okposo, his first two goals of the season, as well as a goal from Michael Grabner. However, the Flyers tied the game with a power play goal in the second period and a go in the third period. Danny Briere won the game for Philadelphia 2:34 into the overtime period.
Coming into tonight’s game Islanders head coach Jack Capuano knows the Islanders need approach the game the same way they approached the game against Detroit.
“Well we have to approach this game the same way we approached the last one and the way we approached all our games,” Capuano said at the team’s morning skate. “Making sure that our guys are prepared to play. We know the tendencies of what Philly is gunna do, but it’s going to come down to the desire and hard work.”And despite the loss last time around against Philly, Capuano liked the effort from his players.
“I thought the last time we played them we played them pretty good,” he added. “If we can get the same effort that we played the last time and stick to the game plan we give ourselves a chance. But I like the way we played the last game against them.”
The Islanders will feature the same lineups tonight as they had against the Detroit Red Wings and will send Evgeni Nabokov to protect the net.
Nabokov has been able to make the big saves for in crucial situations. Something that has not been lost on defensemen Mark Streit.
“He’s been in the league forever and he’s played really well,” Streit said about Nabokov. “Last game he made that key save on their power play in the first period. Saves like that are just key in order to get the win. We play with a lot of confidence back there because we know Nabby is so calm. He helps us a lot and it’s great to have him back there.”
Tonight will be his 11th straight start for the Islanders and win tonight would be his 300th career NHL victory.
Kyle Okposo on the challenge of playing against Philly:
“Well obviously we haven’t had a ton of success against them in the last few years. We want to try and turn that around. We just gotta make sure that we play that good game. I think we were pretty excited to play the Wings on Tuesday and we gotta bring more of that excitement when play divisional opponents.”
Mark Streit on why the Isles struggle against Philly:
“I don’t know. Sometimes you just match up a little bit better against other teams. Sometimes it’s tough to explain, but it’s a division rivalry, they have a good team and we need points. So, we can’t really pay attention to the stats. We want to focus on our game and have a big night tonight because it’s really important.”
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