The New Jersey Devils (19-19-9) face their Metropolitan Division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers (22-18-6), in only their second of five meetings this season; the Devils will be traveling to the Wells Fargo Center this time. The Devils shut out the Flyers 4-0 back on December 22nd at The Rock. Cory Schneider was in net and made 16 saves. P.A. Parenteau, Miles Wood, Adam Henrique, and Kyle Palmieri all scored goals. It was also an aggressive, fast-paced, and physical game; Philadelphia tallied 50 PIM (penalties in minutes) and New Jersey had 32. Philadelphia/New Jersey games are always just a bit more exciting than the rest and tonight will be no exception.
The Devils had their first loss in four games last night to Montreal, 3-1. Steven Santini scored his second goal of the season. The Flyers are coming off of their mandatory bye week, which the Devils will hope to take advantage of. Philadelphia did lose their last game before the break, a 5-0 shutout loss to Washington. Philadelphia has gone on a bit of a slide since their 10-game win streak back in late November/early December; they are 3-8-3. They now sit just outside of the playoff spot they held for so long. New Jersey still has a ton of ground to make up in the playoff race and last night was a missed opportunity.
Keith Kinkaid started in net last night because Schneider was not feeling well and had to miss practice yesterday but I would expect Cory to start tonight, provided that he’s feeling up to it. Schneider did start the previous game against Philadelphia as well. Michal Neuvirth will probably be in net for Philadelphia (he may debut a new mask tonight). Both Anthony Stolarz (Jersey native) and Steve Mason played in net against New Jersey last time. Coach Hynes said he may make changes to tonight’s lineup; he stuck with the same lineup for the past four games (and it worked for the first three). Vern Fiddler may also return to the lineup tonight but Andy Greene will not.
Philadelphia’s power play is one of the best in the league (6th, to be exact) with a 22.6% success rate. I don’t think I need to tell you how unsuccessful New Jersey’s power play is because you already know. Jersey’s penalty kill took a hit last night and now sits 15th in the league with an 81.8% kill rate. Philadelphia’s is slightly worse with an 80.4% kill rate (19th). The Flyers are averaging 31.5 shots/game but had just 16 the last time they played the Devils. New Jersey is still dead last with 27.1 shots/game and dropping. They had a season-low 17 shots last night against Montreal.
The Devils will be looking for a much-needed two points tonight in Philadelphia when they take on the Flyers in what is sure to be another entertaining game; puck drops at 7PM.