PHILADELPHIA, PA - After starting the season 0-1-1, the Devils head into tonight's game against the Flyers in Philadelphia still searching for the first win of the season.
While tonight is a big one for Wayne Simmonds, as he is returning to his former team that he played eight years with, he knows it will be special but is just hoping to get the two points for the Devils.
"It's another hockey game, I've got to get my mind right and make sure I'm mentally and physically prepared for that game. I'm ready to get the two points for the New Jersey Devils," said Simmonds.
"Hopefully I get some cheers. I was deep-rooted in that community, I spent eight years there. I had a great time, I enjoyed Philadelphia thoroughly. I was proud to be a part of that franchise and I don't regret anything I ever did in a Flyers uniform, I had a great time.
Jack Hughes will have a different set of linemates for tonight's game, as he has been centering Wayne Simmonds and Blake Coleman this week at practice. Blake Coleman thinks that Hughes will be a good fit on that line.
"I think it's a good fit. Jack, obviously his skills, his vision, are top-notch and me and Wayne are more crash and bang but have the ability to make plays as well. We should open up a ton of space for him," said Coleman.
Head coach John Hynes gave an explanation for the line changes, saying that he wanted to divide up some new guys and/or younger guys with some more experienced players.
"I think Blake and Wayne are bigger, stronger, competitive guys. They're heavier on pucks and in the offensive zone, they get stops in on the forecheck. And that's something we're working with Jack to be a little bit better and I think that hopefully should allow them to play a little bit more on offense and then you know, both those guys are responsible in the defensive zone, so give him a little bit of help in those areas. I think with the two types of players he's with, it should be able to help get pucks back and be able to play more with the puck than he has as of late. And then on his side, there's got to be a growth in his defensive game when he gets in the defensive zone," said Hynes.
SCHNEIDER BACK IN NET
Cory Schneider is expected to be in net for Wednesday's game for the first time since leaving Friday's game because of cramping. Schneider was looked at by the medical staff that night but needed more time for the cramping to pass before getting back on the ice.
Head coach John Hynes said that Schneider looked good this week at practice and that this should not be a regular occurrence for the goaltender.
"It's something we've looked at. His hydration levels, his workloads. In practice, monitoring him during the games, in between periods, and making sure that this doesn't happen again. And whatever guys are taking, vitamin wise or whatnot, everything's been looked into and everyone in our sports medicine department understands this cannot be a reoccurring occurrence," said Hynes.
-- Sara Giles, NewJerseyDevils.com
DEVILS (0-1-1) at FLYERS (1-0-0)
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; Televised on NBCSN
Tonight's game is the first of four meetings between the two teams this season. Last year, they each won a pair of games, splitting the season series.
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 Devils season started off great, with a 4-0 lead over the Winnipeg Jets with just over 10 seconds to play in the second period but a quick goal by Kulikov with 10 seconds left and an early one in the third put the Devils on their heels. Eventually the Jets tied the game and ultimately won in a shootout.
The next night, the Devils woes continued, falling 7-2 at the Sabres home opener.
Flyers team scope:
The Flyers have only played one game so far this season and that game was against the Blackhawks in Prague, Czech Republic. They won that game 4-3. Travis Konecny led the way with two goals and an assist.
Philadelphia only had one win in six pre-season games (1-2-3) but were able to win when it counted. Voracek and Claude Giroux both led the way in the pre-season with four points apiece.
Having given up three power play goals on four attempts in Buffalo, right now the Devils road penalty kill efficiency rating is 25%. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about that stat is despite the low percentage number, it's ranked 24th in the NHL.
Right now, the Flyers are uncharacteristically one of the least penalized teams in the NHL. Having only played the one game, they took two penalties in it. With an average of four minutes in penalties per game, they're tied for second in the NHL.