The make-or-break week for the Flyers (18-15-5) gets tougher Thursday night when the team visits the Islanders (25-10-4).
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
- When: 7 p.m. ET with The Warm Up at 6 p.m. ET and Flyers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. ET
- Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• The Flyers started 3-0-0 against the Islanders this season but have dropped the last three meetings (0-1-2).
And the Flyers will see a different Islanders team tonight. New York on Wednesday acquired Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac in a trade with the Devils. Both will make their Islanders debuts against the Flyers.
After the Flyers swept a back-to-back set with New York over Jan. 30-31, the Islanders have been the best team in the NHL. Since Feb. 1, they've led the league with 46 points, going 22-6-2.
New York has gone 16-1-2 at home this season. The Flyers gave it that only regulation loss on March 18.
• Thursday is a big night in the East Division race.
The Rangers host the Penguins and the Bruins visit the Capitals.
With 18 games left, the Flyers are five points back of Boston, which holds the final playoff spot in the East Division and has two games in hand on Alain Vigneault's club. Via tiebreakers, the Flyers are in sixth place behind the Rangers. Both clubs have identical records, but New York has more regulation wins.
The Flyers have three games left before Monday's trade deadline. The deadline motives of general manager Chuck Fletcher will continue to be molded with the results of Thursday night.
• Robert Hagg, who missed 11 games with a shoulder injury, will return to the lineup and play in place of Philippe Myers.
"We believe that Phil has a lot of potential," Vigneault said Thursday in his pregame media availability. "Lately, his puck decisions have been the areas that have caused him some problems and, at the end of day, has caused our team problems. This is as much about getting Haggs in as it is about the way Phil is playing. In my estimation, Sam Morin has been playing really well, Shayne [Gostisbehere] has been playing really well on D, and the other three defensemen have been our core, our rocks back there in [Justin Braun, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim].
"This is a learning curve that Phil is going through right now. Do we believe that he can play better than he has? Yes, and he'll have the opportunity to prove that to us with the number of games that we have to play here moving forward."
James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Oskar Lindblom
Jakub Voracek-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl-Nolan Patrick-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Robert Hagg
Samuel Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere
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