Nov 23, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) controls puck against New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald (47) during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Flyers will start a crucial stretch when they meet the New York Islanders Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Starting Saturday night, the Flyers’ next four opponents will be against the Islanders, in a home-and-home series, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets. All of them are division foes. The second game of the home and home will be played Monday afternoon.
The Islanders have caught fire, going 8-2-0 in their last ten games and have won eight of their last nine games on the road. The Flyers are 6-3-1 in their last ten, but have hit a skid, losing three of their last four.
The orange and black have won both contests by a score of 5-2 this season against the Islanders. After this home-and-home series, the two teams will not face each other for the rest of the regular season.
Only eight points separate the two squads – Flyers with 53 points; Islanders with 45 points – from third and eighth place.
The Flyers need to get off to a good start tonight and continue to push the pace. During their last four games, the Flyers have fallen back and allowed their opponent to take over the game.
Steve Mason, who is fresh off a three-year $12.3 million extension, will start for the Flyers tonight. Mason made save after save during the Flyers’ most recent game against the Nashville Predators. The Flyers lost 4-3 in a shootout, but Mason was the reason the Flyers salvaged a point out of a game they should have lost in regulation.
Should the Flyers win tonight, it will be Mason’s 20th win of the season. Mason has not eclipsed the 20-win plateau since the 2010-11 season when his record was 24-21-7.
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