New York Islanders look to bolster defense in Philly, face troubled Flyers
Jan 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; The New York Islanders celebrate a goal as Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Mark Streit (32) and defenseman Radko Gudas (3) skate away during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Islanders look to continue their march into relevancy, they will face a stumbling Flyers squad. 

  • New York Islanders (23-18-10, 56 points)
  • Philadelphia Flyers (26-21-7, 59 points)
  • 7 p.m., NBCSN, WRHU
  • Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
After a 10-game tear earlier in the season, the Flyers are struggling to stay within the race for the last playoff position and now, the New York Islanders look to capitalize on their struggles.

When these two division rivals meet tonight, there is one thing they both will have in common: defensive struggles.

After a stretch that saw Thomas Greiss allow 10 goals in seven games (from Jan. 16th-31st), Greiss allowed 10 goals in his last two starts and the Islanders allowed 15 goals in three games.

Even backup goalie JF Berube was burned for at least five after starting just his seventh game of the season.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, has also seen issues on defense all season long with rookie Shane Gostisbehere enduring a sophomore slump.

Head coach Dave Hackstol scratched Gostisbehere for three straight games in favor of veterans such as former Islander Andrew MacDonald. With the Flyers cooling off rapidly after a 10-game winning streak the stage is set for an eastern team to push through.

The Islanders are trying to make a case to be that team.

Injury Updates

Interim head coach Doug Weight addressed the status of Cal Clutterbuck and Travis Hamonic after Wednesday’s morning skate.

Clutterbuck has had a rough go at trying to re-insert himself into the lineup as in both games he’s attempted to come back from, he has re-injured himself both times.

For the love of your health, and the sanity of Isles fans, just make sure you’re 100%, Cal.

Hamonic’s status remains a general question, and with the emergence of guys like Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, his status with the team is beginning to draw some questions.

On the off chance Clutterbuck thinks he’s ready to go tomorrow, it’s likely Anthony Beauvillier will be the odd-man — it’s likely Greiss sees another start in net tomorrow against a key Metropolitan division game.

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.