Game day (21): Flyers at Islanders, 7 pm

Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Flyers… Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets… The Flyers begin a stretch of games in which seven of their next eight will take place on the road. The Flyers are 2-6-0 on away from Wells fargo Center this season… Jakub Voracek has 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists) through 19 games. Voracek leads the Flyers, and the NHL, in points and assists.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — After a well deserved day off, it’s back to work for the New York Islanders.

They will host the struggling Philadelphia Flyers tonight and try to extend a three-game winning streak. Historically the Islandes have struggled against the hockey club from Philadelphia. Since the 2007-08 season the Flyers have gone 33-4-3 against the Isles.

This years Islander squad (as it has been well documented) is much different from those teams in the past and they will be a much tougher opponent for the Flyers.

Jack Capuano won’t change his lineup that has won three straight games and Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the Islanders. It will be Halak’s second consecutive start.

The Flyers are struggling entering tonight’s game in Uniondale. They snapped a recent four-game losing skid and sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division. That doesn’t mean Capuano sees this as an easy game.

“They’re always a dangerous team,” he said after the Islanders morning skate. “They probably should be a lot better. They have great goaltending, they’re healthy now and they have solid defense. They have tremendous forwards up front… We have to be ready to go. They’re a hard working team and they always have been a hard working team.

“This is a great challenge for our hockey team.”

The Islanders will see two former members of the organization, with former captain Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald members of the Flyers. Streit returned to Nassau Coliseum with Philadelphia last season. Tonight is MacDonald’s first game against his former club.

GEICO SportsNite: Islanders sweep Penguins

GEICO SportsNite has reaction from Matt Martin and John Tavares after the Islanders defeated the Penguins 4-1 on Saturday night. The win completed a home-and-home sweep for the Islanders, who moved into a tie with the Pens for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Some thoughts on the Islanders 4-1 win over the Penguins


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins to move into a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division with them. The 4-1 was the Islanders second straight win over the Penguins and their eighth win in the month of November. They are 8-2-0 through 10 games this month.

For the game story click here and for the Billy Smith sidebar story click here.

Below are some quick thoughts and notes on the Islanders 4-1 win over the Penguins: To read more of this story, click here

Billy Smith returns to Nassau Coliseum

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — These days you’ll likely find Billy Smith on the golf course rather than rushing home to watch a hockey game.

“I don’t watch much hockey anymore, to be honest. I’m a golfer,” he said.NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders

But the Islander legend is certainly happy to see his former team playing so well in their final season at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are 14-6-0 through the first 20 games of the season and after Saturday night’s win are tied for first place with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

““I think it’s great. They’ve got life and they’ve got speed,” Smith said of the current team. “The big thing now is when they go into a slump, and everybody does. You’re not going to win every game. There’s no such thing, but if they start losing two or three you’re going to need your superstars like we had. Boss, trots and, ya know, Potvin. They’re going to have to pull them and it just depends how long they stay in. That’s what decides if you make the playoffs or not.”

If any would know what it takes to make it to the playoffs (and beyond) it would be Smith. The goaltender has four cups to his name, 132 playoff game appearances — all with the Islanders — and 88 playoff wins.

However, Smith’s run with run with the Islanders started off in a wacky way. The legendary Islander was playing minor league hockey in New Haven, Connecticut when the team called him up in 1972.

“They told me I had to be up here for practice the next morning. So I left early and had no idea about the Island,” Smith explained. “I ended up driving all the way to the end of the Island. Turned around and drove all the way back. I got to the rink and still made it to practice on time.”

The hall of famer doesn’t have any trouble these days finding Nassau Coliseum, the venue he called home until he retired in 1989, or around Long Island. “It’s a great rink,” he said of the aging arena. To read more of this story, click here

Islanders reignite rivalry with Pittsburgh in 4-1 win


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins have had their share of spirited bouts between one another, and Saturday night can certainly be categorized as one of those.

On a night the Islanders were honoring legendary goaltender Billy Smith, they put on a performance that was befitting in the presence of an Islander great and beat Pittsburgh 4-1. They outshot the Penguins 35-28 through the 60-minute affair, played a solid defensive game, Halak made the saves when he needed too and the Islanders potted four goals.

All along with reigniting  a rivalry that has had it’s share of memorable moments in recent seasons.

“It was a great battle over the last two games,” said Matt Martin , who recorded the game tying goal at 18:01 of the second period and was named the game’s first star. “We played hard. We had our ups and downs in the games, but we always seem to bounce back and find a way to win.” To read more of this story, click here

Game Recap: Islanders 4 – Penguins 1

Result: The Islanders beat the Penguins 4-1 on Saturday night.

Need to Know: The Isles got three third period goals — and four unanswered goals — to beat the Penguins on Saturday night.

Matt Martin scored in the second period, while Anders Lee, Brock Nelson (on a power play) and John Tavares scored in the third period.

Jaroslav Halak made 27 stops on 28 shots.

The Isles swept the home and home series against the Penguins.

Links: Recap | Box Score | PBP

What’s Next: New York plays the Flyers on Monday.

Game Day (20): Penguins at Islanders, 7 pm

Nassau Coliseum — Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM

The Least You Should Know About the Penguins… Craig Adams will play his 900th career game in the NHL tonight against the Islanders. He has played 402 of those 900 games with the Penguins… The Penguins have a 1.89 goals agains average on the road, which is an NHL best… Chris Kunitz has a six game point streak against the Islanders.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Back on Nassau Coliseum ice, the Islanders will wrap up the second game of a back-to-back matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Islanders lineup will not look any different than the one that face the Pens on Friday night in the steel city. The only change that will occur is that Jaroslav Halak will start in net for the blue and orange. Halak is 8-4-0 with a .914 save percentage.

The Penguins will start Thomas Greiss. Greiss is 2-0 this season with a .969 save percentage.

Neither the Penguins nor the Islanders held morning skates at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders scratches practiced in Uniondale. Michael Grabner did not skate at the Coliseum with the other scratches and he will spend a little more time getting healthy before he is back in the lineup.

Tonight is Billy Smith Mini Locker night at the Coliseum and the legendary Islander goalie will be honored before the game.