Coming off a heartbreaking season the Philadelphia Flyers are down to their last six 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 and Wednesday night, Philadelphia dropped games 6-4 and 5-3, respectfully. The young guns looked good, but that’s about it.
Even though the Flyers don’t realize that they play tonight, they do.
The Flyers kick off the final game 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 -145 money line favorites with the over/under sitting at 6 goals.
Yesterday at practice, the Flyers had their veterans take a maintenance day. Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Justin Braun, and Ivan Provorov all took the day off, per Jordan Hall. Their lines were as follows:
Now, there is no idea if the vets will be in the lineup or not Saturday night. With the Flyers mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it wouldn’t be surprising if they do keep them out, though. Kevin Hayes, who was scratched Thursday night and missed his first game as a Flyer, will likely return to the lineup.
Brian Elliott will also get the nod against the Devils after Alex Lyon got lit up again on Thursday night. Shayne Gostisbehere was also back at practice. After suffering an MCL sprain, he looks ready to go for tonight’s game.
For tonight’s game, both P.K. Subban and Jonas Siegenthaler will likely 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. The young goaltender looked good in Thursday’s start as well. If he doesn’t go, then it’ll likely be Scott Wedgewood for the Devils.
In their last 10 games, the Devils are 2-7-1, averaging 2.9 goals, 5.1 assists, 2.6 penalties and 7.7 penalty minutes, per the ESPN pregame analysis. In the meantime, they’ve given up 3.9 goals per game with an .864 save percentage.
At this point, leave it to the Flyers to win a handful of these games and screw up their higher draft pick. Coach Alain Vigneault should just let the younger guys get some playing time to prep for next season. It’s doubtful the Flyers’ do that, but who knows at this point.
The Devils have not won three straight games the entire season. It’s also unlikely that they will tonight. The Flyers will pull some weird comeback out of their butts again, and win a high scoring game in the third period. Chalk up a 6-4 Flyers win after going down at least 2-0.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre