Flyers – Devils: Road to Redemption | GAME PREVIEW

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GAME DAY | Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils Preview, TV, Start Time, Statistical Match-up, Projected Lines, Starting Goalies, Keys to Victory, Flyers Tickets

Game Preview

Down & Out

Saturday night was not a night the Flyers or their bench boss would like to see repeated again any time this season. The absolute drubbing Philadelphia took from Boston was a low point in this young season, and both players and coaches knew it. Carter Hart visibly took his aggressions out on his goalie stick and net after the game was over; everyone knew improvements were needed at all positions, and quickly. After a few days at home for rest and practice, can the Flyers dig deep and right their wrongs?

Last game (January 23, 2021): PHI 1  BOS 6  F

For a complete game recap: Flyers – Bruins: Rock Bottom?

Players to Watch

  • Shayne Gostisbehere
    Yes that’s right, Ghost is on this list. He skated for the first team yesterday in Voorhees and told the media he was feeling much better after recovering from COVID-19. Alain Vigneault didn’t rule him out for tonight’s game, so if he makes the lineup you can expect he’ll be a key piece to shoring up the defense.
  • Claude Giroux
    A captain’s duties are many, but it’s times like this that leadership and motivation has to come from the top. Young guys are frustrated, the team is struggling offensively and defensively, and Giroux needs to step up and show why he wears the “C”.
  • Brian Elliott
    Vigneault confirmed yesterday that Moose will get the net tonight. Elliott performed well in his last outing, and when he replaced Hart the night he got pulled versus Buffalo, and AV has confidence that he veteran netminder can help keep things calm on the back end.

Keys to Victory

  • Strong Forecheck
    If Gostisbehere does return to the lineup tonight, it’ll certainly help things defensively, but it won’t be a cure-all. The forwards need to be aggressive on the forecheck and maintain good puck possession in the offensive zone, not only to generate some quality scoring chances, but also in order to give the blueliners some breathing room.
  • Minimize Turnovers
    Tighten up that neutral zone! The turnovers and giveaways have been brutal for the Flyers lately, and they need to stop the bleeding. Clog up the neutral zone and don’t give the Devils any room to turn over the puck.
  • Capitalize on Chances
    We’ve seen good opportunities for the Flyers recently, but those opportunities haven’t been resulting in goals. Especially when it’s been difficult to maintain good net-front presence, Philadelphia needs to take advantage of every good look they get at the back of the net.

Statistical Matchup
Prudential Center, Newark NJ | January 26, 7:00 PM ET | TV: NBCSP, MSG+ 

2020-21 statistics

DEVILS FLYERS
7 (11th) Points (rank) 7 (10th)
3-1-1 Record 3-2-1
2-0-1 Home/Away 0-1-0
3-1-1 Last 10 3-2-0
2.20 GF/G 3.33
2.00 GA/G 3.50
15.4 PP% 26.3
66.7 PK% 63.6
49.06  CF% 43.35

 

Pre-game Quotes
 Sean Couturier

  • “I’m feeling better. Just trying to stay in as good of shape as I can. Today was a step forward by skating and trying to get my game shape back together.”

Alain Vigneault on Erik Gustafsson

  • “It’s a new environment and new group of players for Erik. He hasn’t found his game yet. I don’t expect him to be physical but I expect him to move the puck, have a good stick and stop plays.”
Projected Forwards, Defense and Goaltenders (subject to change)
Forwards
Sharangovich – Hughes – Palmieri
Wood – Zajac – Kuokkanen
Gusev – Zacha – Merkley
Johnsson – McLeod – Bastian
van Riemsdyk – Hayes – Voracek
Giroux – Patrick – Konecny
Lindblom – Laughton – Farabee
Raffl – Bunnaman – Aube-Kubel
Defensemen
Murray – Subban
Kulikov – Severson
Smith – Tennyson
Provorov – Gostisbehere
Sanheim – Friedman
Hagg – Braun
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Carrick, Butcher, Vatanen Blackwood, Bratt
Injured: Hischier
Scratched: Gustafsson
Injured: Couturier, Myers, Frost
Goalies (2020-21 statistics)
Scott Wedgewood Brian Elliott
Record: 1-1-0-1
GAA: – 2.00
Sv%: – .937
SO: 1
Alternate: Eric Comrie
Record: 1-0-0-1
GAA: – 1.31
Sv%: – .964
SO: 1
Alternate: Carter Hart
 Game Expectations
With goaltender Scott Wedgewood and the New Jersey Devils coming off of a 2-0 shutout victory, they’ll be riding high on emotion, while the Flyers will be determined to not repeat their embarrassing outing from the weekend. If Gostisbehere returns to the lineup, there will be an immediate injection of strength on the back end, but Philly’s forwards will need to make the biggest statement in this game. Watch out for Jack Hughes, the rookie who has logged seven points in five games.

Bottom Line

The Flyers need to come out of the gate on fire and not let up until the final horn. If ever there was a “full 60 minutes” of solid hockey needed by this team, it’s tonight. Succeed and they’ll avoid going 0-4 to complete their first road trip, and it’ll mark the first strides toward rebuilding that synergy they started the season with.

 Video Highlights

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By Amy Johnson, Lead Correspondent
The Flyers Report
Copyright © 2021 Rocket Sports

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