Flyers-Islanders preview: Philly tries to continue charge to playoffs

FLYRGLANCE03
Flyers winger Travis Konecny getting hit by Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey in a Jan. 4 game won by Philadelphia, 6-4. Konecny has 20 goals in his last 39 games.

Flyers (40-25-14) at Islanders (32-37-10)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Barclays Center

BROADCAST & STREAMING: NBCSP+, NBCSports.com/live, 93.3 FM

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: @BroadStBull and @samdonnellon on Twitter

KEY PLAYERS: The Flyers, playing their final road game of the regular season, are hoping to clinch a playoff berth Tuesday, while the Islanders are playing for pride because they have been eliminated from postseason consideration. The Flyers’ magic number is three points to clinch a berth, so any combination of points gained by the Flyers and not captured by Florida that totals three will give Philadelphia a playoff spot. Florida will host best-in-the-NHL Nashville on Tuesday.

The Flyers will be facing an Islanders team that has lost eight of its last 10 and 16 of its last 19 (3-12-4). Goalie Thomas Greiss (3.85 goals-against average, .891 save percentage) will face Petr Mrazek, who is 6-5-3 with a 3.09 GAA and .893 save percentage with the Flyers. In other words, expect a high-scoring affair. The Islanders, who have won two of the three high-scoring meetings against the Flyers this season, are allowing 3.61 goals per game, worst in the NHL. John Tavares (34 goals, 81 points), rookie-of-the-year candidate Mathew Barzal (59 assists, 79 points), Anders Lee (39 goals), Josh Bailey (69 points), and Jordan Eberle (25 goals)  lead a potent Isles attack.

Claude Giroux, who has surged into MVP consideration, has set career highs in goals (29) and points (95). He needs five points in the final three games to become the first Flyer to reach the 100-point mark since Eric Lindros in 1995-96. Giroux gets offensive support from Jake Voracek (82 points, 63 assists), Sean Couturier (71 points, 31 goals), Shayne Gostisbehere (60 points), Travis Konecny (24 goals). and Wayne Simmonds (23 goals). Konecny has flourished since moving to the top line. The speedy right winger has 20 goals in his last 39 games.

THINGS TO KNOW: Michael Raffl, who missed the last six games with an apparent shoulder injury, will probably return to the lineup and replace Scott Laughton on the fourth line. Laughton, who moved from center to left wing in his last game, is goal-less in his last 20 games, but he played well and had several good scoring chances in Sunday’s 4-3 OT win over Boston. … The Flyers are 20-12-8 on the road, which is more road points (48) than any Metropolitan Division team. … The Islanders, who sit in last place in the eight-team Metro, are just 17-18-4 at home, and overall they will finish with their lowest point total since 2009-10. … The Flyers are on a 5-0-3 run and have points in 22 of their last 28 games (16-6-6). … Former Flyer Dennis Seidenberg will be among the Isles’ healthy scratches.

HEAD TO HEAD: The Islanders have two OT wins over the Flyers (4-3 and 5-4) this season, but Philadelphia won the last meeting, 6-4, on Jan. 4 as Ivan Provorov had two goals and three points. Overall, the Flyers hold 137-90-26-12 advantage in the all-time series.

COMING FLYERS GAMES:

April 5: 7 p.m. vs. Carolina

April 7: 3 p.m. vs. New York Rangers