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Flyers vs. Devils preview: Time to shake off that opening night loss

The Flyers are back in friendly territory Thursday night, hosting the Devils in their home opener.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

I suppose the plus side of opening the season with back-to-back games is that if you lose the first one, you don't have to wait long to get the nasty taste out of your mouth. That's what the Flyers face tonight as they return home to Wells Fargo Center for their first home game of 2014-15.

A night ago in Boston, the Flyers played a decent game against one of the East's best teams. Most forwards had a positive game, but that was overshadowed by the top line getting utterly embarrassed by Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins. Fortunately, Claude Giroux's line doesn't get shut down to that extent all that often, so we're hoping for and expecting a bounce back this evening on home ice.

We're expecting the same roster from the Flyers tonight, with Steve Mason starting in goal despite the back-to-back situation. Via Tom Gulitti, the Devils will start Cory Schneider, as expected, while forwards Damien Brunner and Jacob Josefson join defenseman Adam Larsson as healthy scratches.

This is the Devils first game of 2014-15, and while ... yes, they're still an extremely boring hockey team, they should be much better this year. They barely missed the playoffs a year ago, due in part to a terrible shootout record, due in part to Martin Brodeur, and several other correctable issues. They're a strong possession team that got better this offseason with some key additions, although they are very young and unproven on defense.

The Devils, in some ways just like the Flyers, could finish just about anywhere in the Metropolitan Division and we wouldn't bat an eyelash. But we're not looking ahead to April just yet -- let's worry about the Flyers nailing down their first points of the season tonight on home ice.

New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers

7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m.
Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia

In Philly: CSN Philly, 97.5 The Fanatic SiriusXM
In North NJ & NYC: MSG+, WFAN, SiriusXM
Everywhere else: NHL Center Ice or GameCenter Live