NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 15th
(All times Eastern)
New Jersey Devils (13-9-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (12-15-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The struggling Philadelphia Flyers will try to salvage the
finale of an important home-and-home series on Friday when they host the New
Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers were slammed 5-2 in Newark to open this two-game set on Wednesday,
giving Philadelphia losses in four of its last five games. Philly also fell to
0-3 this season against the Atlantic Division rival Devils, who beat the
Flyers in five games during last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals.
Philadelphia is quickly falling behind in the East playoff race and is
currently sitting all alone in 11th place, five points out of a postseason
berth. The Devils, meanwhile, are tied with Toronto for sixth in the
conference and are also six points ahead of the Flyers.
New Jersey jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period of Wednesday's contest
before cruising to the easy win. It was the second straight victory for the
Devils after losing seven of their previous eight contests.
Adam Henrique posted two goals and an assist to lead the way in the home-and-
home opener. The second-year center has recorded five goals in seven games
Andrei Loktionov and Patrik Elias each posted a goal and an assist for the
Devils, while Ilya Kovalchuk had the other goal. Kovalchuk has 49 points (24
goals, 25 assists) in 48 career games against the Flyers.
"We had a lot of chances tonight and did a good job of putting them away,"
said Kovalchuk. "Hopefully this gives us a big jump and we'll be able to carry
it into Philly."
Johan Hedberg made 23 saves, improving his record to 3-6-1 since No. 1
netminder Martin Brodeur went down with a sore back. Hedberg is 10-10-0 with
one tie in 23 career appearances versus Philadelphia.
Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who failed to build
off Sunday's home win over Buffalo.
Ilya Bryzgalov was tagged for all five goals on 32 shots and had some harsh
words for his team after the game.
"They beat us tonight and that's all there is to it," said Bryzgalov. "I
really have no idea what to say about this aside from that I'm just tired and
have no emotions. A lot of disappointment right now."
Philadelphia can't blame injuries for its current problems, as the Flyers are
healthier now than they've been at any point this season. That being said,
defenseman Luke Schenn is questionable for Friday's game due to flu-like
Perhaps the Flyers can take advantage of New Jersey's poor road record to get
back on track with a win. The Devils have lost four straight as the guest and
are just 4-6-3 away from the Garden State this season.
Philadelphia is 8-4-1 on home ice.
03/15 10:40:44 ET