NHL

Flyers host Isles, aiming to avoid being shut out for 3rd straight game

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping to avoid becoming the first team in NHL history to win 10 games in a row and miss the playoffs in the same season.

They're also trying to avoid becoming the first club in Flyers history to get shut out three straight games in the regular season. They'll get that chance Thursday night against the New York Islanders, who have allowed 15 goals in the last three games and rank 15th in the 16-team Eastern Conference with 2.94 goals allowed per game.

"Personally, if you don't score in a while your confidence is low and you're thinking about passing first or you don't even put your head up and you shoot and hope something happens," Flyers right winger Matt Read told the Courier-Post.

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Read is expected to replace rookie Travis Konecny, who is sidelined 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury suffered in Monday night's 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Read was a healthy scratch in that game.

"I think watching the game the other night it just seemed like we weren't getting to the tough areas," Read said. "We were shooting a lot of pucks, but St. Louis played so well defensively things weren't going our way offensively."

In shutout losses to the Kings and Blues, the Flyers have recorded a total of 43 shots but have had 41 blocked and 20 more miss the net.

The Flyers are also coming up empty on the power play, which has gone 0-for-6 the past two games and is 3-for-32 over the past nine games.

The Islanders, meanwhile, are having trouble keeping pucks out of their own net. After a 6-0-1 stretch in which they allowed just 10 goals and climbed back into the playoff picture, the Isles have been outscored 15-14 in their last three games while going 1-1-1.

"We're not giving up chance after chance after chance, but the ones we are giving up are really, really good chances," Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk told Newsday following Monday night's 6-5 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. "The results are what matter most right now, but we need to clean up a bit."

The Islanders solved their three-headed goaltending dilemma by waiving Jaroslav Halak and are hoping to see more consistent performances from goaltenders Thomas Greiss (16-8-3, 2.45, .921) and backup J-F Berube (1-2-2, 3.27, .896) down the stretch.

"You see 10 goals on (49) shots and you think it's bad goaltending," Weight said after Saturday's 5-4 loss to Carolina. "But we're really not giving up a lot. We're also not helping our goalies out."

The Flyers, meanwhile, have received back-to-back solid performances from goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who allowed only an overtime goal to the Kings in a 1-0 loss and two goals on 16 shots in a 2-0 loss to the Blues.

Neuvirth (8-5-1, 2.79, .893) sat out Wednesday's practice with an illness, which could open the door for Steve Mason (16-16-6, 2.90, .900) to make his first start since a 5-1 road loss to the Hurricanes on Jan. 31.