Tonight’s game between the Philadelphia Flyers (9-14-7) and the New Jersey Devils (21-6-2) will mark the third time the division rivals will oppose one another this year. The Flyers earned an opening-night win on Oct. 12 against them, 5-2. Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny led them with two goals apiece while they had five players with two assists each.
The Devils responded on Dec. 3 with a 3-2 win over the Flyers as Akira Schmid stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced for a .939 save percentage (SV%). During the early portion of the season, the Metropolitan Division leaders look to be in the mix to win their first division title since 2009-10 when they won the former Atlantic Division. Here’s our gameday preview.
Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Frost – Owen Tippett
Kevin Hayes – Noah Cates – Konecny
Lukas Sedlak – Scott Laughton – Joel Farabee
Nicolas Deslauriers – Patrick Brown – Max Willman
Ivan Provorov – Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim – Cam York
Nick Seeler – Justin Braun
Carter Hart – Felix Sandstrom
Flyers Suffer Another Close Loss, Road Winless Streak Reaches 9 Games
The Flyers are coming off of a 3-2 loss on Dec. 13 to the Colorado Avalanche in which they gave up three consecutive goals after taking a 1-0 lead. Zack MacEwen was not active after sustaining an injury during the Dec. 11 contest vs. the Arizona Coyotes and Willman served as his replacement. After being a healthy scratch during the Dec. 9 game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Tony DeAngelo has been unavailable due to a family matter.
Latest News & Highlights
The Flyers continue to not win games away from the Wells Fargo Center as they have not won an away game since Nov. 5 vs. the Ottawa Senators. Tonight will be a difficult contest for them to snap their road winless streak as the Devils have been playing well throughout the first half of the season. Their play has resulted in plenty of fans flocking to the Prudential Center unlike in recent years when the organization was struggling to compete.
New Jersey Devils Projected Lines
Tomas Tatar – Nico Hischier – Fabian Zetterlund
Yegor Sharangovich – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt
Miles Wood – Erik Haula – Dawson Mercer
Jesper Boqvist – Michael McLeod – Alexander Holtz
Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves – John Marino
Kevin Bahl – Damon Severson
Vitek Vanecek – Schmid
Devils Looking to Return to Winning Ways Tonight
Despite their regular season record, the Devils are 0-2-1 entering this evening’s game and will aim to get back on another winning streak against the Flyers. Both their offense and the goaltending have been stellar so far. The accumulation of young talent by the front office over the last several years is paying off handsomely for them.
Related: Devils’ Loss to Stars Is a Wake up Call
Vanecek has been a solid offseason addition and Schmid has been gaining more experience in the NHL with Mackenzie Blackwood out with an injury he sustained on Nov. 3. He commented on his health on Dec. 12, “I feel pretty good. Last week was good on the ice, getting back to practice, getting the reps I need. Knee’s feeling good. Game’s coming back good. It’s been a good week. Over the last week, it’s been a slow roll and ramp-up and the last three to five days I’ve had full practices. Knee’s been good. Just getting game sharp and breaking off some of that month-long rust.” He is working his way back and started for the Utica Comets in their game on Dec. 14, a 5-2 loss to the Laval Rocket in which he allowed four goals.
Players To Watch
Philadelphia Flyers – James van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk has two goals and three assists in the last two games and does well at getting in front of the opposing net to create scoring opportunities. He has only played in 10 of the Flyers’ 30 games after sustaining a fractured finger during the Oct. 23 game against the San Jose Sharks.
New Jersey Devils – Jack Hughes
Hughes continues to progress during his career in his fourth season with 15 goals and 19 assists in 29 games. He is a dynamic forward leading a Devils club that is averaging 3.59 goals per game played (GF/GP).
Tonight’s game has a 7 PM ET start time and will be broadcast on NBCSP.
*Flyers lines from @giana_jade on Twitter. Devils lines from @amandacstein on Twitter.