The New Jersey Devils have lost consecutive games for the first time in more than a month. A road matchup with the league-worst Philadelphia Flyers could be just what they need to get back on track.
New Jersey looks to win its sixth straight on the road and remain perfect this season against Philadelphia when the Atlantic Division rivals meet Tuesday night.
Despite the return of right wing Brian Gionta, the Devils (40-19-7) put up little resistance Sunday in a 4-1 loss to visiting Boston.
Mike Rupp scored for New Jersey, which went 0-for-4 on the power play and allowed a short-handed goal 19 seconds into the second period.
"We had nothing really," Devils captain Patrik Elias said. "We were flat the first half of the game and maybe started skating a little better. It just wasn't good enough. There just wasn't enough urgency on our part."
Gionta recorded an assist on Rupp's goal in his first game back after missing eight in a row with a groin strain. The speedy forward, who scored a career-high 48 goals in 2005-06, is second on the team with 24 this season.
Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey has lost back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 27 and 30. It hasn't dropped three straight since Dec. 12-16.
The defeat kept the Devils six points Buffalo in the race for the top seed in Eastern Conference.
"An 82-game schedule doesn't always go as smooth as you would like it to be," Devils coach Claude Julien said on the team's official Web site. "We're faced with a challenge right now, and knowing our hockey club, I know we are going to respond to it."
New Jersey shouldn't mind playing its next three games on the road, where it has won five straight - two by shutouts - and is 18-11-2.
Although they will be matched up against the worst team in the league, the Devils figure to start Martin Brodeur in this game.
Brodeur leads the NHL with 39 wins and 12 shutouts and is second with a 2.09 goals-against average. He is 5-0-0 with a 2.49 GAA this season against the Flyers, and has won eight consecutive starts versus them.
The Devils have won all five meetings with the Flyers this season - two in a shootout, two in regulation and one in overtime. New Jersey has won 10 of the past 11 matchups.
Philadelphia, which is 4-14-7 against division opponents, squandered a two-goal lead Sunday at Pittsburgh, but picked up at least a point for the third straight game in a 4-3 shootout loss.
"If you get that third goal, you don't say you've closed it out but it makes it really tough to come back," left wing Simon Gagne said.
The Flyers are 1-3-3 in their last seven games, going 1-for-29 on the power play during that span.
Recently acquired Martin Biron is expected to make his third straight start in net for the Flyers. Biron has stopped 69 of 75 shots in his first two games with Philadelphia, but has struggled against the Devils, going 2-6-0 with two ties and a 3.14 GAA.
Right wing Mike Knuble has accounted for five of the Flyers' 13 goals against the Devils, but is still sidelined with two broken bones in his face.