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Game Preview #30: Devils vs the Philadelphia Flyers

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A Devils team that’s looking slightly better takes on a Flyers team that’s looking their worst.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (10-13-4) versus the Philadelphia Flyers (15-11-3). SBN Blog: Broad Street Hockey

The Time: 7:00 PM

The Broadcast: NBCS

Don’t let their winning record fool you; the Flyers have not been good.

Their last few games include a 6-1 loss to the Islanders and a 9-0 loss to the Rangers.

Carter Hart and Brian Elliot are in the bottom ten worst save percentages in the league. Elliot has .892, Hart has .875.

Suffice it to say, not good.

Now, I’m not saying this is going to be an easy game, or that the Devils are a better team. But this is certainly shaping up to at least be a fair matchup. In case it wasn’t clear by those losses, the Flyers have absolutely no defense. Matt Niskanen’s retiring basically shot the Flyers in the wings. Their ‘best’ defensemen really aren’t all that good (Provorov), and their decent defensemen are rarely played (Gostisbehere). Their biggest problem seems to be more of a headgame than anything— they might hold you off until the first goal, but once you open that door, the floodgates open. Especially if Hart is in net. Lucky for us, he probably will be, since Elliot played last night against the Islanders.

The key to winning this game, then, is play our game, play fast, play hard, force them to defend and make mistakes, get that first goal, and ride the flood wave to a win.

The Devils To Do It:

Bratt - Hughes - Palmieri
Kuokkanen - Zajac - Sharangovitch
Maltsev - Zacha - Merkley/Gusev
Wood - McLeod - Johnsson

Smith - Severson
Kulikov - Subban
Butcher/Murray - Vatanen

Blackwood

The Flyers Lines from last night:

Farabee - Couturier - van Riemsdyk
Laughton - Hayes - Konecny
Lindblom - Giroux - Voracek
Raffl - Patrick - Aube-Kubel

Provorov - Gostisbehere
Sanheim - Braun
Gustafsson - Myers

Hart

Your Take

Do you think we can win tonight? What’s the main thing we need to focus on if we want to win? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and thanks for reading!