The New York Islanders vie for just their first home-and-home sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers in nearly 36 years on Friday when the Metropolitan Division rivals meet in the City of Brotherly Love. Josh Bailey capped his fourth three-point performance of the season by scoring 32 seconds into overtime on Wednesday as New York remained the lone NHL team without a regulation loss on home ice (7-0-2) with a 4-3 triumph.
Bailey also set up a pair of goals to record his team-leading nine multi-point performance for the Islanders, who have won four of their last five games to ascend into third place in the Metro. “Day in and day out, I just try and turn the page and get ready for what’s coming next,” the 28-year-old Bailey said. “I don’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on the previous games or shifts of plays. It’s just looking ahead and trying to be better each time.” Cellar-dwelling Philadelphia needs to turn the page on its six-game winless skid overall (0-3-3) and tough stretch at home (1-3-3 in last seven), and addressing its once-sturdy penalty kill would be a good first step. “The PK has got to be better,” said Wayne Simmonds, who has seen his team surrender eight power-play goals in the last four games after yielding only 12 in the previous 18 contests to begin the season.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus (New York), SN, NBCSN Philadelphia
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (12-7-2): Rookie Mathew Barzal scored a power-play goal late in the first period on Wednesday to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, four assists). “Barzie is taking off,” coach Doug Weight said of the 20-year-old, who has eight points with the man advantage and 20 points overall to move within one of Vancouver’s Brock Boeser for the NHL rookie point lead in both categories. Fellow former first-round pick Josh Ho-Sang collected his second goal and third point in five games on Wednesday since being recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (8-9-5): Jakub Voracek scored for the second straight outing to extend his point streak to four games (three goals, three assists) and point total to 11 (five goals, six assists) in his last eight. The 28-year-old is also riding a four-game point streak versus the Islanders, with one goal and three assists in that span. Michael Raffl’s numbers are far less impressive, although the 28-year-old Austrian ended a 42-game goal and point drought by scoring on a breakaway 46 seconds into the second period.
1. New York has a league-best 14 goals with the man advantage since Oct. 28 after starting the season just 2-for-33 with the man advantage.
2. Flyers G Brian Elliott posted a 1.87 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in his previous seven games before permitting four goals on 39 shots on Wednesday.
3. Islanders D Nick Leddy has collected 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his last 12 contests.
PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Flyers 1