Kyle Okposo #21 of the New York Islanders shoots the...

Kyle Okposo #21 of the New York Islanders shoots the puck in the first period against Andrew MacDonald #47 of the Philadelphia Flyers during a game at Nassau Coliseum on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Andrew MacDonald played 152 games at Nassau Coliseum, but Monday night's game was his first in a visitors' uniform.

MacDonald, who played six seasons with the Islanders, faced his old team for the first time since the March 4 trade that sent him to the Flyers last season.

"Both sides have really moved on. It's been a bit of time since I left," said MacDonald, who signed a six-year, $30-million contract with the Flyers just before the playoffs began last spring. "They gave me my opportunity and I'm grateful for that . . . And obviously, everyone's taken notice of [the Isles' success]. Things didn't go as planned last season and now they're right up there."

MacDonald still has many close friends on the Isles, notably Travis Hamonic, MacDonald's longtime defense partner. But any joy MacDonald might take at the Isles' good start is tempered by being in the same division, playing for a rival -- and the thought that he wanted to stay an Islander.

"I guess on a friend level [it's good to see], but on a competitive level, you'd rather see yourself in that position," MacDonald said. "Any time you're in a position where you want to stay and it kind of looks like the writing is on the wall, it can take a toll on you."

Changes on defense

Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey missed Monday night's game because of illness, putting regular scratches Brian Strait and Matt Donovan into the lineup.

Donovan made his season debut after sitting as a healthy scratch the first 20 games.

Quinn honored

The Islanders had a moment of silence for Pat Quinn, who died Sunday. Quinn never coached or played for the team but figured in Isles history.

Quinn coached the Flyers team that lost to the Isles in the Stanley Cup Final in 1980, the first of the dynasty Cups. Quinn's Leafs beat the Islanders in a hard-fought 2002 first-round series.

Quinn also coached John Tavares and Hickey to a gold medal at the 2009 World Junior tournament.

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