The rivalry resumes.
After dropping their first two games of the week, the New Jersey Devils are looking to finish things up with a win.
This won’t necessarily be an easy task: they’re taking on their rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, for the first time this season.
The good news is that the Flyers have been even worse, as of late. They’ve dropped all three games this week and are on a five-game losing streak.
The Devils and Flyers are extremely similar and the fact that they’re tied in the standings with 20 points each is evidence.
Offensively, both teams are two of the worst in the league, although the Devils are a bit better. Their power play situations are similar, too. They both have two of the worst in the league, but the Flyers are slightly better.
The case is different for the two teams in their own zones. Defensively, they’re both above-average with the Devils’ blueline being a little better.
The Devils’ penalty kill is below-average, but has improved dramatically. The Flyers, on the other hand, have a well-above-average penalty kill, something that could end up being an important factor in this game.
Another key to victory for the Flyers which would come to the Devils’ misfortune is goaltending. While the Devils have gotten pretty good production from their goalies, the Flyers are in a league of their own.
Carter Hart has had an eventful start to his career. He came onto the scene and then took the league by storm two seasons ago, but completely collapsed in 2021 and was one of the worst netminders in hockey.
He’s back to his old self this season and might even be better. He’s one of the absolute best goalies in the league and has done a great job of keeping his team afloat.
The Devils have the upper hand in defense and are getting some help. Ty Smith is back in the lineup after missing the past week. The blueline and goaltender will be expected to play at their best, no matter how bad Philadelphia’s offense might be.
Devils players to watch:
C Nico Hischier
Career vs. PHI: 14 GP, 5 G (1 PP), 12 PTS
LW Janne Kuokkanen
Career vs. PHI: 9 GP, 2 G, 7 PTS
C Yegor Sharangovich
Career vs. PHI: 8 GP, 5 G (2 PP), 8 PTS
LHD Ty Smith
Career vs. PHI: 6 GP, 4 A
G MacKenzie Blackwood
This season: 7 GP, 3-1-2, .922 SV%, 2.84 GAA
Career vs. PHI: 8 GP, 6-0-2, .929 SV%, 2.33 GAA
Flyers players to watch:
RW Cam Atkinson
Career vs. NJD: 20 GP, 12 G (1 PP), 20 PTS
LW Claude Giroux
This season: 19 GP, 7 G (1 PP), 17 PTS
Career vs. NJD: 59 GP, 15 G (7 PP), 55 PTS
G Carter Hart
This season: 13 GP, .920 SV%, 2.67 GAA
Career vs. NJD: 5 GP, 3-2-0, .923 SV%, 2.20 GAA