The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to salvage a split in this four-game series against the Devils. They won the series opener in dramatic fashion on Sunday night but dropped both games in New Jersey this week.
The two teams are back in Philadelphia for the series finale tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
The Flyers were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday night and have six games remaining in the season.
Projected lines and pairs
Flyers forward lines
Kevin Hayes will return to the lineup after being a semi-healthy scratch on Thursday night. Nicolas Aube-Kubel will also play for the first time in this series.
Alain Vigneault still has a few decisions to make for tonight’s lineup, likely in the bottom six.
Here are the projected lines for tonight’s game.
The Flyers have been getting most of their offense from the top line, but the rest of the forwards haven’t been playing up to their potential. Hopefully, that can change before the end of the season.
Flyers defensive pairs
Shayne Gostisbehere is a possibility to return from his minor MCL sprain. It was said on Sunday that he is expected to miss seven to 10 days, so this would be on the early end of that.
If Gostisbehere can play, the above pairs will likely be what the Flyers go with. If he can’t go, I would expect Egor Zamula to remain on the left side of the second pair.
Flyers starting goalie
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 favored at -145 against the Devils (+125) with the total set at six goals.
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- 3-7 in their last 10 games following a win.
- 2-5 in their last 7 in the second game of a home-and-home situation.
- 0-7 in their last 7 games as a road underdog.
- 2-5 in their last 7 overall.
- 3-9 in their last 12 home games.
- 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- Road team is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
- Devils are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.
- Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
What to watch for
1. Will Kevin Hayes be motivated by healthy scratch?
Kevin Hayes was called out by Alain Vigneault and made a healthy scratch for the first time as a Flyer in Thursday night’s game. Mind you, Vigneault also mentioned that the forwards –– outside of the top line –– have been struggling recently as well.
Hayes isn’t fully healthy, but no one is at this point in the season. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to being a healthy scratch. He’s back in a prime lineup position as he centers the second line with two young scorers.
2. Is Gostisbehere good to go?
Shayne Gostisbehere is one of the players that could be playing his final games as a Flyer in these coming weeks. He missed the last three games with a minor MCL sprain but skated and felt good after practice on Friday.
If Gostisbehere is good to go, he’ll return to the lineup. If not, the defensive pairings will look similar to how they have they past few games with Zamula getting another look.
3. Can the Flyers salvage a split?
The Flyers are playing for nothing but pride now after being officially eliminated from playoff contention. They need to at least salvage a split against the lowly Devils to maintain any sort of dignity that they may have left.
The Flyers and Devils face off at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images