LAST-PLACE FLYERS FACE A MUST-WIN TODAY AGAINST ISLES!

By Steve Kelly

It’s only Nov. 24, and the Flyers are in last place in the NHL Metro, so today’s game at the Wells against the New York Islanders is virtually a must-win!

The Flyers (8-9-5) have a six-game losing streak (0-3-3). Only the Ottawa Senators have lost more games beyond regulation this season than the Flyers, who have also dropped six of their last seven home games.

“Obviously, we want to be a good team at home,” said Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who is tied with Couturier for second on the team with 23 points in 22 games.

“We want to be a tough team to play in our building. We’re pressing a little too much right now. We want it a little too much. Just got to go out there and play hockey.”

A lack of secondary scoring and an inept penalty kill has been the Flyers’ downfall in recent games.

Second-line right winger Wayne Simmonds has gone 14 games without a goal and third-line right winger Travis Konecny has played 12 without one. They’ve also allowed eight power-play goals in their last four games.

“The individual skill in this league is through the roof,” Simmonds told the South Jersey Courier-Post. “Guys are going to make plays, especially when they’re a man up. The best form of penalty kill is not to be in the box at all.”

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has been a guilty party lately, taking two costly penalties in his past three games.

“Everybody goes through different struggles,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “There’s a growing role for everybody. Right now, Ghost is one of the elder statesmen on the back end there. Sometimes that has a way of putting a little more weight on your shoulders, but I just think it’s a stretch that he’s going to get through.”

Today’s game will mark the home debut of rookie forward Danick Martel and defenseman Samuel Morin, each of whom made his season debut on Wednesday night. Martel added speed to the lineup, while the 6-foot-6 Morin provided a strong physical presence.

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