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Flyers, Devils collide in Jersey
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils hope to avoid a three-game losing streak when they welcome the rival Philadelphia Flyers for a Metropolitan Division battle at Prudential Center.
After winning their final two games in December, the Devils are 0-2-0 to begin the 2014 calendar year. New Jersey will try to get back on track Tuesday when it kicks off a three-game homestand that will also feature visits from Dallas and Florida.
The Devils lost 5-3 against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and were dealt a 2-1 regulation setback the following night in Buffalo. Journeyman forward Matt D'Agostini, who briefly played for New Jersey last season, scored the winner in the third period to lift the Sabres to Saturday's close victory.
Michael Ryder scored the only goal of the game for the Devils, while Cory Schneider allowed both goals on 22 shots in the loss.
"I've got to find a way to get it done and win games this time of the year," said Schneider. "You can say it all you want, but you have to make it happen."
Despite boasting a strong 2.13 goals against average and solid .914 save percentage this season, Schneider fell to 5-9-5 in his first campaign with the Devils. Martin Brodeur, who is 12-9-3 with a 2.36 GAA and .903 save percentage this season, will get the start in net on Tuesday.
Brodeur is 49-31-3 with six ties and a 2.38 GAA in 90 career games against the Flyers.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, hopes to close out what so far has been a successful road trip with another win. The Flyers are 4-1-0 during the six-game swing and won for the fifth time in six games with Saturday's comeback victory in Phoenix.
The Flyers trailed the Coyotes by 2-0 and 3-1 scores on Saturday before Philly rallied for a 5-3 triumph. Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux lit the lamp in the third period to help the Flyers rebound from Thursday's 2-1 regulation loss at Colorado.
Scott Hartnell and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Flyers, while Steve Mason came up with 26 saves.
"In the beginning of the season we would just fold but right now we believe in ourselves and that we can come back from any deficit," said Voracek. "This is a tough building and a tough team, so this is big for us."
Philadelphia, which is 10-10-4 on the road this season, halted a four-game slide in New Jersey when it notched a 1-0 win at the Prudential Center on Nov. 2. Ray Emery needed to make only 14 saves and Schenn scored to help the Flyers down Brodeur and the Devils. However, Brodeur answered that loss less than a week later, posting a shutout in a 3-0 triumph over the Devils on Nov. 7.
Brodeur has 12 shutouts against the Flyers during his standout career. Mason is 0-3-0 with a 3.68 GAA in his career against New Jersey, but Emery is 6-4-2 with a 1.91 GAA in this matchup. With Philadelphia playing Wednesday against Montreal, the Flyers could opt to use Mason tonight and then start Emery tomorrow against the Canadiens.
Philadelphia is currently tied with Washington for second place in the Metro Division, but the Flyers are still a whopping 17 points in back of first-place Pittsburgh.
The Devils are sitting sixth in the division with 42 points, but are only four points in back of Philadelphia.
01/07 11:30:35 ET