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Rolling Flyers hope to continue streak against Islanders

NY Islanders (2-6-0) at Philadelphia (3-3-3), 7:00 pm EDT

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- It was not too long ago that the

Philadelphia Flyers seemed as hopeless as the New York Islanders

currently appear to be.

The resurgent Flyers hope to extend their winning streak to four

games when they host the struggling Islanders in a battle of

Atlantic Division rivals on Thursday.

After dropping its first six games of the season - including a

7-6 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks last Wednesday -

Philadelphia has used a high-octane offense to produce a

three-game winning streak.

Receiving two goals apiece from Simon Gagne, Mike Knuble and

Joffrey Lupul, the Flyers cruised to a 7-0 victory over the

Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. Prior to that outburst, they took

two games from the division rival New Jersey Devils in a

home-and-home series over the weekend.

Netminders Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki, who made 24 saves

on Tuesday en route to his fourth career shutout, have had a

rather easy time protecting leads since the Flyers have

outscored opponents, 16-5, during their recent stretch.

The Islanders, however, have not had as much success lately,

dropping four consecutive contests. Promising youngster Kyle

Okposo and veteran Doug Weight each scored on Monday, but their

efforts were not enough to overcome the New York Rangers in a

4-2 loss.

The Islanders have won five games in each of the last three

Octobers, but they captured just two of eight thus far with just

one game remaining this month.

The team also could be without goaltender Rick DiPietro, who

suffered a lower body injury in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the

Carolina Hurricanes.

In just his third start since recovering from arthroscopic

surgery performed on his right knee on June 4, DiPietro stopped

10 of 12 shots before being removed.

If DiPietro cannot go, Joey MacDonald will resume the starting

duties - a role he occupied for the first four games of the

season. The 28-year-old MacDonald is 2-4-0 with a 3.54

goals-against average in six appearances.



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