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Preview: Devils at Flyers

Philadelphia clings to slim playoff hopes; New Jersey tries to avoid sixth straight loss

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

DEVILS (27-36-14) at FLYERS (37-32-8)

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

 
Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils will try to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers for the fourth straight time this season; they have outscored the Flyers 14-3. New Jersey also will aim to improve on its three-game winning streak at Wells Fargo Center, going back to Dec. 11, 2014. The Devils, 2-13-4 in their past 19 games, will try to end a five-game losing streak (0-3-2). Goaltender Cory Schneider will start; he's 1-7-3 with 35 goals allowed and an .898 save percentage in his past 12 games. Defenseman Michael Kapla will remain in the lineup after making his NHL debut in a 2-1 loss at the New York Islanders on Friday. Kapla, 22, signed as a free agent out of UMass-Lowell on Tuesday, had a blocked shot and acquitted himself well and 15:07 of ice time. "It's your first NHL game," Kapla told NorthJersey.com after the game. "It's pretty exciting. There's a lot of emotions going through me. It's good to get it out of the way. The first couple of shifts you're just trying to figure it out and get a little confidence going. I was able to do that and settle in." Center Travis Zajac's 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 51 career games against the Flyers is tied for the most he has had against any NHL opponent; he also has 34 points against the Islanders. Forward Kyle Palmieri has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past seven games against Philadelphia.

 

Flyers team scope

The Flyers trail the Toronto Maple Leafs by seven points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with five games to play. Philadelphia can be eliminated from playoff contention Saturday with a regulation loss combined with the Maple Leafs getting one point against the Detroit Red Wings. Philadelphia has won three straight and is 6-3-0 in its past nine games. "We know what the situation is," right wing Jakub Voracek said. "I think we've been playing very good hockey for the last 10 days or so. We just have to keep winning and, hopefully, Boston and those teams are going to get some bad bounces, bad luck, and, hopefully, we can sneak in the last game. We know it's going to be hard, but definitely not impossible." Goaltender Michal Neuvirth will start. Forward Colin McDonald was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Saturday and will make his NHL season debut on the fourth line. "My role is a little bit different here than it is [in the AHL]," he said. "They know that and I know that. I'm going to go out there and try to play physical, get pucks in and just bring some energy."

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Michael Cammalleri -- Adam Henrique -- Joseph Blandisi

John Quenneville -- Pavel Zacha -- Beau Bennett

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Michael Kapla -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Jon Merrill, Blake Pietila, Dalton Prout

Injured: Jacob Josefson (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Travis Konecny -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal -- Valtteri Filppula -- Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Colin McDonald

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Michael Del Zotto -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Brandon Manning -- Radko Gudas

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Scratched: Mike Vecchione, Roman Lyubimov, Nick Schultz

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion), Michael Raffl (lower body), Matt Read (upper body)

 

Status report

Vecchione, the Hobey Baker Award finalist who the Flyers signed as a free agent on Friday, won't play against the Devils, and coach Dave Hakstol said he doesn't plan for him to play Sunday against the New York Rangers, either. "He's got to practice," Hakstol said. "He's got to get a little bit of time in, give us an opportunity to get to know him a little bit better, give him an opportunity to get settled in a little bit."

 

Who's hot

Couturier has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. Schenn has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.

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