Winner of four of their five, and fresh off a come from behind victory over the Maple Leafs on Eric Lindros jersey retirement night, the Flyers look to gain more ground in the playoff race when the Devils visit the Wells Fargo Center for a 1 p.m. matinee.
Sean Couturier’s 26th goal of the season in overtime capped a two-goal comeback by the Flyers in their win over the Leafs on Thursday, pulling the Flyers to within three points of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. They can gain more ground with points against the Devils, who currently occupy the second of three playoff spots in the Metropolitan Division.
New Jersey has been solid across the board in a bounce-back season, but have surprised offensively. The Devils are seventh in goals per game (3.14) and are tied for sixth in power play efficiency (21.6%). A balanced scoring attack that features six players with 20 or more points is buoyed by Taylor Hall’s 47 points in 42 games.
The Flyers have been paced by the high-scoring trio of Couturier, Jake Voracek (NHL leader with 45 assists) and Claude Giroux (54 points). The trio was held in check for the last two games until Couturier’s game-winner, but they’ll take aim at Devils goaltenders that haven’t been all the great this season (.911 save percentage, 2.84 goals-against average).
In net today will be Devils backup Keith Kinkaid, who gets the start with Corey Schneider out with an illness. Kinkaid is 11-7-3 on the year with an .898 save percentage and a 3.09 goals-against average. He is, however, 4-0 with a sparkling 1.25 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage with a shutout in his career against the Flyers.
Michal Neuvirth figures to head back between the pipes for the Flyers after a stellar effort against Toronto in which he turned away 29 of 31 shots and was excellent in the third period as the Flyers mounted their comeback. He too has good numbers against the opposition, going 7-3-5 with a .920 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average with a shutout against the Devils in his career.
Flyers lineup (subject to change):
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
Raffl - Filppula - Voracek
Weal - Patrick - Simmonds
Goulbourne - Laughton - Lehtera
Provorov - Gostisbehere
Hagg - MacDonald
Manning - Gudas