Coming off a heartbreaking season the Philadelphia Flyers are down to their last seven 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 Philadelphia 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, so far, have looked a bit overmatched by New Jersey overall. In game one, a late comeback led by Claude Giroux’s historical milestone pushed them to a shootout win. However, on Tuesday night, Philadelphia dropped a back-and-forth affair, 6-4. The young guns looked good, but that’s about it.
The Flyers kick off the third of a four-game series tonight. Coverage will begin at 6:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with puck drop slated for 7 pm. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia or NBCSN. In front of their home fans, the Flyers are -130 money line favorites with the over/under sitting at 6 goals.
One of the bigger updates on the Flyers’ end of things is that Alex Lyon will get the start tonight, per Jordan Hall.
Carter Hart has now officially been shut down for the remaining seven games of the season as well. Hart, who suffered a mild knee sprain on April 15 in Pittsburgh, has yet to be seen since then. General manager Chuck Fletcher did not respond to a message on Saturday seeking an update, per Ed Barkowitz.
Also from Jordan Hall, Philadelphia sent Egor Zamula back down to the taxi squad after making his NHL debut Tuesday night. Shayne Gostisbehere is still recovering from an MCL sprain. He’ll miss about another week of play unless the Flyers decide to shut him down for the season too. Cameron York got injured down in Lehigh Valley as well, likely halting his chances of making his NHL debut this season. It’s possible that the Flyers to roll with their typical defensemen Thursday night, with Robert Hagg and Sam Morin both in.
Nico Hischier has been putting up solid numbers against the Flyers this season. He has points in both games he has played this season (1g-1a) and has a three-game point streak against the Flyers. For his career, he also has 10 points in 11 games. Fellow forward Michael McLeod leads New Jersey in goals (3) and points (5) against the Flyers. Pavel Zacha also has three goals in the season series.
For tonight’s game, both P.K. Subban and Jonas Siegenthaler will remain out due to COVID-19 protocol. You can expect to see Mackenzie Blackwood back between the pipes tonight as well. Blackwood played in his 100th career NHL game on Tuesday night, which was also his 42nd career win.
For the sake of my mental health and optimism, let’s say Philadelphia wins this game. As I noted in the preview for game one of this series, nothing will be easy for Philadelphia. Not a single win from here on out will be as satisfying as it should be, but the Flyers will squeak out another one tonight.
Philadelphia and their opponent have gone over in 31 of their 49 games this season. Between defensive problems for both teams and those stats, Philadelphia will take a somewhat high-scoring affair. Chalk up a 5-3 Flyers’ win after an empty netter.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre