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Preview: Devils at Flyers

Cory Schneider remains out for New Jersey with illness; Philadelphia looks for fresh start after five-day break

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

DEVILS (19-19-9) at FLYERS (22-18-6)

7 p.m. ET; TCN-PH, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

Cory Schneider will miss the second game of a back-to-back set because of an illness. Keith Kinkaid will start again after making 23 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. The Devils had 17 shots on goal and coach John Hynes said his players need to be more aggressive offensively. "We have to compete a lot harder than we did last night, particularly on the offensive side of the puck," he said. "Have to be able to manage it when we put pucks in the offensive zone, have to keep them away from the goalies, have to come with three guys in good structure, moving their feet, and we have to get hungry on the puck, have to win more battles, establish some offensive-zone play, and then when we do it we have to make strong plays on the puck. Can't throw them to the slot, start the other team's breakout, not spend any time there at all. Those are things we discussed and we've got to have a better effort tin those areas tonight." Forward Vernon Fiddler, who has missed the past 12 games because of a lower-body injury, will return to the lineup. "Vern's a very strong faceoff guy," Hynes said. "He does a good job on the penalty kill and those are some of the things, the reasons we wanted to get him. When he's in the lineup those are real strong factors in his game."

 

Flyers team scope

The Philadelphia Flyers return from a five-day break which they said came at a good time. They're 3-8-3 since their 10-game winning streak ended, including losses in four of their past five (1-3-1). "It was good to have a little mental break," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "We weren't playing our best hockey; probably our worst hockey of the season. Get a couple days to think about where we went wrong and a couple days to not think about it. Now we're back to work." Simmonds said it was good to see the same 23 players in the locker room after the break ended. "We all know that we've played well below what everyone expects from us," he said. "There's no one else. It's just us in this room and we've got to hold each other accountable." Coach Dave Hakstol said there were no roster changes because the organization remains confident with what it has. "The 23 guys that we have, have gotten us into the [Stanley Cup] Playoff hunt," he said. "We haven't had a great run of late, we know that. Every team is going to go through that. It's how quickly we can push it the other direction. The huge positive is we're right in the middle of the playoff hunt. From my perspective, we control our own destiny. There's all kinds of positive opportunity there."

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Adam Henrique -- PA Parenteau

Michael Cammalleri -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Sergey Kalinin

Miles Wood -- Vernon Fiddler -- Luke Gazdic

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

Kyle Quincey -- Damon Severson

Karl Stollery -- Steven Santini

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Devante Smith-Pelly, Seth Helgeson 

Injured: John Moore (concussion), Andy Greene (wrist), Yohann Auvitu (lower body), Beau Bennett (leg)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Michael Raffl -- Claude Giroux -- Matt Read

Travis Konecny -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Nick Cousins -- Brayden Schenn -- Wayne Simmonds

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Roman Lyubimov

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Mark Streit -- Radko Gudas

Michael Del Zotto -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Scratched: Dale Weise, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning

Injured: None

 

Status report

Bennett was injured when he was hit in the leg by a shot and Hynes said he was sore. Kalinin and Merrill return to the lineup. The Devils assigned forward Blake Coleman to Albany of the American Hockey League. ... Neuvirth will start in goal and Hakstol said the schedule will dictate some of how he manages the goaltending rotation for the final 36 games of the regular season, although he said he doesn't want to go with a 1/1A situation. "We're coming off a five-day break, we play back to back today and tomorrow, and then we finish before another four-day break [for the All-Star Game] with another back to back," he said. "Schedule dictates some of it [but] I wouldn't expect to see a simple rotation. … We do have a good goaltending tandem. They have worked well together, have produced excellent results and I'll expect that to happen, we all do, as we go through the second half of this year as well."

 

Who's hot

Hall has two goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. … Schenn has four goals in his past five games.

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