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Flyers, Devils rematch in Philadelphia
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of offensively-challenged division rivals will meet Thursday in Philadelphia, as the Flyers welcome the New Jersey Devils in a clash at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia enters Thursday averaging an NHL-worst 1.57 goals per game, while the Devils are ranked 28th in the league at just 1.86 GPG. New Jersey is coming off consecutive shutout losses, including a 1-0 home setback last Saturday against the Flyers.
Both the Devils and Flyers' scoring issues were on display Saturday in Newark. Ray Emery only needed to stop 14 shots to record the shutout for Philadelphia and Brayden Schenn recorded the lone goal of the game. It was the second win for the Flyers in the past three meetings with New Jersey, but the Devils have taken four of their last six games in Philadelphia.
The Devils followed Saturday's loss with a 4-0 setback at Minnesota on Sunday and have gone seven periods without scoring a goal. New Jersey's last tally came on a Jaromir Jagr goal in the second period of a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 29.
After putting only 14 shots on net in Saturday's loss to the Flyers, the Devils got just 19 shots on net against the Wild, who saw Josh Harding record his second shutout of the season. Cory Schneider allowed three goals on 19 shots in a losing effort for New Jersey.
"It's frustrating to a point, but you've just got to keep plugging away. Everything's not going to go your way and you have to just keep fighting through it," Devils center Stephen Gionta said.
Schneider returned from a lower-body injury on Tuesday to make his first start since Oct. 24, but Martin Brodeur will get the call on Thursday. Brodeur stopped 20-of-21 shots in Saturday's setback and is 48-31-3 with six ties and a 2.41 goals against average against Philadelphia in his career.
The Flyers could turn to Emery in net on Thursday after his shutout performance against the Devils on Saturday. Steve Mason took the loss in Philadelphia's game Tuesday in Carolina, as the Flyers coughed up a lead late in regulation and then fell in overtime after Manny Malhotra scored at 2:40 of the extra session.
Mason made 36 saves for the Flyers in the 2-1 setback, but he couldn't stop Malhotra in OT. After Philadelphia defenseman Mark Streit turned the puck over, Malhotra got behind the defense and charged in on Mason before beating him with a backhander.
The Flyers led 1-0 thanks to Scott Hartnell's first goal of the season with 3:58 left in the third, but Jordan Staal tied the contest with 52.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
Tuesday's loss marked the 13th time in 14 games this season that the Flyers have been held to two goals or less.
"Wins are hard to come by right now," said Mason. "We just have to stay positive and keep working hard."
Claude Giroux is somebody who is trying to stay positive, as the Flyers captain has gone 14 games into the season without scoring a goal.
"We just have to start doing the right things out there," Giroux told the Flyers official website. "If we start doing the right things then good things will happen."
On the injury front, Patrik Elias will miss a third straight game for the Devils due to upper-body soreness, but fellow forward Travis Zajac (ankle) could play after sitting out the past two contests. New Jersey defenseman Peter Harrold also could be back tonight after sitting out the last five games with a lower-body injury.
11/07 10:59:26 ET