Islanders-Flyers Preview

The Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers have dominated the New York Islanders for five years.

Last month, they were surprisingly on the receiving end of a dominant performance.

The Flyers look to avoid a season-high third consecutive loss while trying to re-establish their superiority over the last-place Islanders at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia (30-16-6) has won 26 of the last 29 meetings with New York (21-22-8), dating to a home loss on April 7, 2007. That was also the last time the Flyers lost to the Islanders at Wells Fargo Center until a 4-1 defeat there on Jan. 19, ending a 13-game winning streak in the series at the arena.

"We have to be better with the attention to detail of trying to prevent goals from getting into our net and the desperation of blocking a shot, making sure we stop and protect," coach Peter Laviolette told the team's official website. "I think we're all accountable. It's my responsibility to make sure we're better defensively from a team point of view right down to our goaltender. It's not good enough."

Laviolette may also have been referring to a pair of defeats to other Atlantic Division rivals. The Flyers fell 5-2 on the road to the New York Rangers on Sunday after losing 6-4 at home to New Jersey a day prior.

Philadelphia is in a 3-3-2 stretch, and is second in the division, five points back of the first-place Rangers and two ahead of Pittsburgh in third.

"We need to get back on the horse," center Max Talbot said. "You look at the standings and it's really tight, so you can't allow yourself to just look back and think about it for too long."

Scott Hartnell's five-game goal drought is his longest since starting the season without a score for seven contests. He's managed two assists in the past three games, but failed to register a shot against the Rangers. The All-Star left wing, who leads the Flyers with 25 goals, didn't find the net at home versus the Islanders last month after scoring four times over the previous three meetings.

Claude Giroux, the team leader with 60 points, was also held without a point by the Islanders on Jan. 19 and was a minus-3. The center has 17 points in 18 career matchups.

New York could provide another tough test, having notched at least one point in seven of eight games (5-1-2).

That continued Saturday, when the Islanders fell 4-3 in a shootout to Buffalo after jumping out to two-goal first-period lead.

"We just can't sit back, we have to play better," center Frans Nielsen said after getting two goals and one assist.

Islanders leading scorer John Tavares has been held without a point in consecutive games after tallying 11 goals and 15 assists in his previous 15 contests. He had two assists at Philadelphia on Jan. 19, giving him eight points in seven career visits.

New York will be without defenseman Travis Hamonic for two weeks after he took a puck to the face in Saturday's loss. He had played in 113 straight games.

Philadelphia may get a lift with Danny Briere nearing a return from a concussion that's sidelined him since a win at New Jersey on Jan. 21. The center has 12 goals and 12 assists in his last 21 meetings with New York.

"Skating-wise everything checks out," Briere said. "I've been working out, pushing myself a little more everyday, so it's been good. I don't know what the next step in the process is.

"I know I have to see (athletic trainer) Jim (McCrossin) and see our doctor too, but I know I cleared my baseline test last week."

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