The Philadelphia Flyers head to Nassau Coliseum for a Sunday night matchup against the New York Islanders. The Islanders tested the waters at Nassau Coliseum last season with some games at their original home. This season they’ve upped the amount of games in Long Island to 28. That leaves 13 home games to be played in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center.
Islanders’ fans have long said that attendance has been terrible because games are being played in Brooklyn. Well, with an average of 11,225 fans per game at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders are last in the league in attendance. So much for that theory, but things will likely get better.
Islanders’ fans will begin to take notice later in the season. If in fact the Islanders are having success, that is. When they moved games from Brooklyn to Long Island, the atmosphere was electric for games. But this was later in the season when the Islanders were playing like contenders with the playoffs approaching.
Also helping juice up the crowd was the return of John Tavares to Long Island. That energy continued for the rest of the regular season. In any event, the Flyers will be at Nassau Coliseum for a back-to-back after playing on Saturday against the Blue Jackets in Philadelphia.
The Flyers put on an offensive clinic, as the goals were flowing in the 3rd period. Down by a score of 3-2 going into the final frame, the Flyers registered some big numbers with a 5-goal period. They peppered Joonas Korpisalo with 45 shots with 6 pucks getting past him. Former Maple Leafs, James van Riemsdyk, was the big winner with 2 goals and an assist. They don’t get any time to celebrate, though, as their back out on the ice Sunday night on the road. The Islanders return home following an easy 4-2 win in Ottawa against the Senators. Head below for our free Flyers vs. Islanders pick.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
The Flyers opted for veteran Brian Elliott between the pipes last night. He didn’t have the best game despite earning a win. Elliott allowed 4 goals on 26 shots, which gave him a less than spectacular save percentage of 0.846 on the night. Carter Hart, who looked great in spots as a 21-year-old rookie a season ago, will be called on against the Islanders in this spot Sunday. Hart’s career started really hot, but then he regressed a bit and ultimately finished with a 2.83 GAA and 0.917 save percentage. Not quite the same as a fellow rookie who got called up to be a starter, Jordan Binnington. That said, Binnington had a way better team around him than Hart.
Philadelphia rolled through a plethora of netminders last season because of injuries. They finally found one who got hot and gave Hart 30 starts. He did well enough in his audition to stick around in the NHL this season. However, it’s been a slow start for him out of the gates.
He is quickly finding out that playing like an elite goaltender for an extended period of time is not easy. Binnington hasn’t been sharp to start this season, either. Hart goes into Long Island with a 0.89 save percentage and 2.56 GAA. Not a bad GAA, but his save percentage is well below average and he’s been cold most recently.
In his previous three outings, Hart has notched a 3.42 GAA and 0.83 save percentage. He catches a hot Islanders team on Sunday, as they look to go on a six-game win streak. The Islanders’ defence that was a problem for so many teams a season ago has shown up in 2019-20. During their six-game win streak, the Isles have allowed an average of just 1.8 goals per game. They haven’t allowed more than 2 goals since October 11th against the Hurricanes.
Hart has made one outing against the Isles in his career and it was a shaky night with 4 goals against on 40 shots. The Philadelphia offence has been playing hot hockey recently. They’ve scored 5.6 goals per game in their last three showings, but keep in mind the majority of those goals came at home.
The Flyers have scored only 2.5 goals per game on the road this season. Conversely, the Isles have allowed 2.5 goals a game at home. In five of six games at Nassau Coliseum this season, they have yielded 2 goals or less. The Oilers game skewed their numbers upwards. This looks like a spot where the Flyers will hit some variance and regress after 7 goals a night ago. The Islanders look like a good play here.