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Philadelphia Flyers make news before hosting New York Islanders on Comcast

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The Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. EST Saturday on The Comcast Network.

It wasn't that long ago that Craig Berube's ice boys occupied the same Metropolitan Division space that Jack Capuano's squad currently does. Clearly, the Chief's disciplined style has paid dividends since he took over for Peter Laviolette in early October.

While the Islanders are in last place, their 45 points are only eight behind the second-place Flyers and New York Rangers' total (53).

Thursday's contest against the Nashville Predators almost tied a franchise record, as the Flyers nearly came back from their ninth third period deficit to win the game. But, a lively shootout resulted in the Preds earning the extra point.

With news of Steve Mason's newly-extended multi-year contract being announced before game time, Philadelphia has decided to give majority crease control to a steady mid-20s goalie who's in the prime of his career. Also having the 2008-08 Calder Trophy on his mantel serves to strengthen the belief that the Flyers' pipe position appears to have been resolved.

Mason might not be as personally fortunate as Detroit Tigers pitcher Jason Verlander, who was spotted at the Wells Fargo a week ago with friend Kate Upton on January 11, but his professional resume is great.

Each National Hockey League game is played because the end result is yet to be determined. With overwhelming statistical evidence (the Flyers are 32-4-2 against the Islanders during the past seven seasons) against them, New York could have a tough time of it today.

Follow Sean by clicking on the word 'Subscribe' aside of his photo. Connect with him through social media via Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and read his blog Insight.

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