Flyers-Islanders preview: Weary Philly faces red-hot John Tavares

Coyotes Islanders Hockey
New York Islanders star John Tavares has 15 goals and eight assists so far this season.

Islanders (11-7-2) vs. Flyers (8-9-4)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

WHERE: Barclays Center.

BROADCAST & STREAMING: TV — NBCSP+ and NBCSports.com/live; Radio — 93.3 FM.

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Twitter, @BroadStBull@samdonnellon.

KEY PLAYERS: The Flyers, losers of five straight, will be playing on back-to-back nights and will face a well-rested Islanders team that hasn’t played since it dropped a 4-2 decision Sunday in Carolina.

The Isles have overcome shaky goaltending with a high-scoring attack. They average 3.60 goals per game, second in the NHL.

New York has three players averaging more than a point per game: John Tavares (15 goals, 23 points), Josh Bailey (23 points), and Anders Lee (11 goals, 21 points). Mathew Barzal has 19 points in 20 games.

Goalies Jaroslav Halak (3.14 GAA, .896 save percentage) and Thomas Greiss (3.33, .904) have struggled in the Isles’ nets. The Islanders 3.25 goals-against average is 24th in the league.

The Flyers, for the most part, have received solid goaltending, but they have been hard-pressed to score goals, getting most of their production from their top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier (team-high 12 goals), and Jake Voracek (team-high 26 points). They have combined for 27 of the team’s 58 goals (47 percent).

Goalie Brian Elliott (2.63, .910) is expected to get his sixth start in the last seven games.

The Flyers will have an interesting new look as they have recalled 6-foot-7, 227-pound defenseman Samuel Morin and speedy left winger Danick Martel from Lehigh Valley. Martel leads the AHL with 14 goals in 17 games.

THINGS TO KNOW: The Islanders will try to exploit a Flyers’ penalty-killing unit that has dropped to 27th in the 31-team NHL and has allowed a total of five power-play goals in the last two games. The Flyers have killed just 76 percent of their penalties. …Defenseman Ivan Provorov has scored goals in the Flyers’ last two games. …The Isles have won three of their last four games, including impressive victories in St. Louis and Tampa. …..The Flyers have scored the first goal in the last three games — and lost all of them..After a fast start to the season, right winger Wayne Simmonds has no goals in his last 13 games. …Shayne Gostisbehere had 11 shot attempts in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Vancouver.

 HEAD TO HEAD: This is the first meeting this season between the teams. The Flyers, who went 3-1 against the Islanders last season, have a 136-90-26-10 advantage in the all-time series.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Friday: 4 p.m. vs. New York Islanders.

Monday: 7 p.m. at Pittsburgh.

Tuesday: 7 p.m. vs. San Jose.