NEWARK, NJ - After a game in which they substantially outplayed last year's President's Trophy Winners and outshot them 43-23 but couldn't get the result they needed in a 7-6 overtime loss, the New Jersey Devils still have a chance to complete their six-game home stand with a winning record tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Devils are going with the same lineup as Wednesday's game:
The one exception is in goal, where Mackenzie Blackwood will start in place of Cory Schneider.
"I just want to play my game," said Blackwood. "Get to my spots, see the puck well, make good reads and just give us a chance to play our game.
"You can't really control winning and losing but you can control the way you play. So (I want to) try and do what I can out there and be the best version of myself."
Coach John Hynes talked about making that change in goal tonight.
"I'm looking for Mackenzie to come in and play well," Hynes began. "He's had some really good games for us and looking for him to be ready to roll tonight."
After missing a game as a healthy scratch, Jesper Bratt had a two-goal performance on Wednesday against the Lightning and gets another turn on the second line with Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha.
"The way the whole line played, we played with a lot of speed and were a pretty hard line to play against. We used our skills and used our speed and had a lot of fun out there," said Bratt.
All similar in age, Bratt, Hischier and Zacha are very close off the ice. Bratt relished the chance to be able to contribute together as a trio.
"We have a really easy way of talking to each other and we want to help each other," he said.
OPTIMISM MOVING FORWARD
P.K. Subban was adamant after morning skate that the team continue to look forward to the positives as they try to get some wins on the board.
"We deserved that win (Wednesday). That's what stings the most. It's a team sport so you never point fingers but inside of that, everybody's got to own their game," said Subban.
"It's the same thing here tonight. There's only certain things you can control. I mean, tonight, there may be bad breaks on both sides. It's just how you respond. I've been in this position many times in my career."
At morning skate, P.K. Subban had a long chat on the ice with goaltending coach Roland Melanson and also with Cory Schneider.
"He was asking me what suit I'm gonna wear to the game today," Subban chuckled. "I'm just kidding. Just talking about stuff with the goaltenders and what the goaltenders want.
"In front of the net on the PK there (on Wednesday) I got caught in a position where I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to block it and then tried to get out of the way for him to see it and it ended up in the back of the net."
Subban talked about the challenges that the game poses to all players, Norris Trophy winners and otherwise.
"It's a fast game, man. As much experience as I have in the League, there's certain things that are tough to do. Guys are so quick and make plays quickly and things happen a lot faster in this League. There's only so much you can control and it's just decision making is the key in the game."
-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com
DEVILS (2-5-3) vs FLYERS (5-5-1)
TV: 7:00 p.m. ET; Televised on MSG+ 2
Tonight's game is the second of four meetings between the two teams this season.
The two clubs met in the early part of the season with the Flyers prevailing 2-0 in Philadelphia.
Last season, the two teams each won a pair of games.
Damon Severson led the way for the Devils against the Flyers with three goals and five points in four games. He also led the Devils with 16 penalty minutes.
Jakub Voracek had seven points, six assists, in four games against the Devils.
Devils team scope:
The team has dropped each of its last two home games and overall are 2-2-1 on their six-game home stand which wraps up tonight.
The club has deserved a better fate, however, having essentially doubled their opponents in shots each of the last two games out. On Wednesday night, the Devils lost 7-6 in overtime to Tampa Bay despite outshooting the Lightning 42-23. In their prior match-up, they fell 5-3 to the Coyotes but outshot Arizona 35-17.
With a hat trick last game, Kyle Palmieri now leads the Devils with six goals.
Flyers team scope:
The Flyers have had a streaky season so far, starting with a win in Europe against Chicago and another over the Devils in their home opener. That was followed up with a disastrous three-game Western Canadian swing with three straight losses and then another loss at home to a Dallas Stars team that was 1-7-1 at the time.
They followed that up with wins over Vegas, Chicago and Columbus but have now dropped two in a row once again with losses to the Islanders and Penguins.
Travis Konecny leads the way for the club with 13 points in 11 games.
By the Numbers:
The Devils have had their troubles in the third period this season, being outscored 18-6 while the Flyers have had the inverse problem of the first period where they've been outscored 15-8.
Travis Zajac leads the Devils with 12 goals and 38 career points against the Flyers, in 61 career games. Taylor Hall is second with 21 points though he's only played 18 career games against Philadelphia.