Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers are down to their last nine games of the season. The Flyers, filled with playoff hopes at the start of the season, are now playing the role of spoiler. This is not relevant to the Devils. However, two-game sets against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals come immediately after this four-game series with New Jersey. If the Flyers can gather some momentum against the lowly Devils, they could ruin chances for first place in the East for either of the following teams.
The Flyers kick off the four-game series tonight. Coverage will begin at 5:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with puck drop slated for 6 pm. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBCSN. In front of their home fans, the Flyers are fairly heavy -200 money line favorites with the over/under sitting at 6 goals.
Carter Hart’s status is still uncertain for this series. He suffered a mild knee sprain on April 15 in Pittsburgh. General manager Chuck Fletcher did not respond to a message on Saturday seeking an update, per Ed Barkowitz. Alex Lyon got the start on Friday night, so Brian Elliott will likely be back between the pipes Sunday.
The Flyers have also been in a bad scoring drought during their slump. They have gone 13 games in a row without scoring more than three goals. In an attempt to find a spark, they’ve called up a few different prospects to make their NHL debut. Wade Allison has been a solid addition to the lineup, while Jackson Cates made his NHL debut on Friday night and played well. The lineup for Sunday’s game is uncertain as of now, but expect a similar look to Friday’s game.
As much as the Flyers have been a crap show lately, the Devils have been far worse. New Jersey has lost nine in a row. In fact, they’ve only won one game in their last 14. That single win was their only win in the entire month of April, and it came on April 8th against the Buffalo Sabres.
That was also the first game played since they traded Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders. This was an overly obvious “rebuild” type move that will set the Devils up for another high draft pick.
Tonight’s game will be the second leg of a back-to-back for the Devils. Last night, they fell 4-2 against the Penguins. Mackenzie Blackwood made his return last night, so he will likely not get the nod tonight. Expect Scott Wedgewood or Aaron Dell to get the start tonight.
Flyers squeak out a win
In typical Flyers’ fashion, they’ll probably give fans a false sense of hope. Philadelphia will either end this season on a high note or completely continue to crash and fall- there isn’t any in-between. With the Devils on the schedule for the next week.
Expect the Flyers to win this game, but not easily. Philadelphia will squeak out a win in this one.
Flyers win, 3-1 after an empty netter
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre