The Philadelphia Flyers season is winding down. There are just nine games left, with five of them coming against the team they’re hosting tonight: The New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers and Devils start a four-game series tonight. They’ll play every other day this week, with a two-game set in Newark bookended by games in Philadelphia.
It’s a series between two teams toward the bottom of the East Division standings. With the way the Devils have been playing recently, the Flyers may actually have a chance to finish the season strong.
Projected lines and pairs
Flyers forward lines
Alain Vigneault made a few minor changes to his forward lines for tonight’s game.
Patrick returns to the lineup for Nicolas Aube-Kubel.
Flyers defensive pairs
The Flyers’ rotation on defense continues, but this time it’s due to an injury to Shayne Gostisbehere.
Gostisbehere has a minor MCL sprain and is expected to miss 7-10 days. Alain Vigneault said that both Cam York and Egor Zamula are possibilities to get into the lineup with Gostisbehere out.
Flyers starting goalie
Carter Hart is still out with a mild knee sprain as the Flyers are playing it safe with their young goalie.
Brian Elliott gets the start tonight against the Devils.
Follow us on Twitter (@PhillyHockeyNow) and keep an eye out for lineup updates as we get closer to game time.
Betting odds and trends
- The Flyers are heavy favorites at -210 against the Devils (+175) with the total set at six goals.
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- 0-9 in their last 9 games overall.
- 0-4 in their last 4 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- 0-6 in their last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- 0-6 in their last 6 games as a road underdog.
- Over is 4-0 in Devils last 4 in the third game of a 3-in-4 days situation
- 0-8 in their last 8 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- 0-4 in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
- 17-5 in their last 22 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Over is 6-0 in Flyers last 6 games as a home favorite.
- Over is 5-0 in Flyers last 5 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Under is 5-0 in Flyers last 5 following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Road team is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
- Devils are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.
- Flyers are 2-1 in 3 meetings this season.
What to watch for
1. Keep an eye on the kids
Wade Allison and Jackson Cates made their NHL debuts in recent weeks and are two players to keep an eye on.
Allison already scored his first NHL goal and had several other scoring chances as well. He has a much higher ceiling than Cates. Allison has the makings of a potential top-six winger with his shot and tenacity.
Jackson Cates is more of a bottom-six center that can play a two-way game. He’ll need to impress to be penciled into the lineup for next season.
2. Time to finish strong
The Flyers have been up and down since the trade deadline, which effectively marked the end of their playoff hopes. Now, with just nine games left, the Flyers need to finish strong –– especially with four games in a row against the Devils.
There is still plenty of time for players to leave an impression on the coaching staff and front office heading into a crucial offseason.
3. Extend the Devils’ losing streak
The Devils are not a good hockey team right now and it’s always good to stick it to your rivals. They’ve lost nine straight games –– all in regulation. On top of that, New Jersey is 1-11-2 in their last 14 games with the win coming against the Sabres.
The Flyers need to take advantage and finish the season strong.
The Flyers and Devils face off at 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images