NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 22nd (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-0) at New Jersey Devils (1-0-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will aim to keep a rival Atlantic Division club winless on the young season when they host Philadelphia Flyers in a playoff rematch at the Prudential Center.
The defending Eastern Conference champion Devils eliminated Philadelphia from the postseason last spring, ousting the Flyers in five games during the second round.
Philadelphia has yet to earn a point this season, going 0-2-0 during the first weekend of this lockout-shortened season. The Flyers were dealt a 3-1 home setback by Pittsburgh on Saturday and then dropped a 5-2 decision the following day in Buffalo.
This marks the first time Philadelphia has lost two straight to begin a season since it went 0-3-3 at the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
The Flyers were victimized by Thomas Vanek's five-point performance on Sunday, as the Sabres forward tallied two goals and three assists to help Buffalo earn the victory.
Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux each lit the lamp for Philadelphia, while Ilya Bryzgalov gave up four goals on 40 shots in the loss.
"It's frustrating and not where we want to be right now," said Giroux. "We just have to be patient and stay focused. We'll get things together here soon enough."
Special teams have been an issue for Philadelphia in the early going as Peter Laviolette's club is 1-for-9 on the power play while surrendering five scores on nine shorthanded situations.
The Flyers will be without forward Zac Rinaldo for at least a week after he suffered a lacerated right thigh in Sunday's contest. Philadelphia recalled Tye McGinn from the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms and he could make his NHL debut tonight.
Philly is also awaiting the return of forward Danny Briere, who has missed both games this season with a wrist injury. Briere is expected to sit out Tuesday's tilt, but could be ready to play by the end of the week.
After completing a two-game swing in New Jersey, the Flyers will host the New York Rangers on Thursday before heading back out on a four-game trek.
The Devils have had two days off since beginning the season with a 2-1 road win over the New York Islanders. David Clarkson scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, lifting Jersey to the win at Nassau Coliseum.
Travis Zajac also tallied a goal, while Martin Brodeur turned away 18 shots for the Devils, who made a thrilling run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.
"We played well," Brodeur remarked. "We blocked a lot of shots. We kept them pretty much to the outside. For a first game it was definitely nice."
After Tuesday's game versus the Flyers, the Devils won't play again until hosting the Washington Capitals on Friday.
Before meeting in the postseason last year, the Flyers and Devils split six regular-season meetings. Philadelphia has taken 12 of the last 19 in-season encounters in this series.
01/22 10:49:51 ET