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Preview: Flyers at Devils

Hobey Baker finalist Mike Vecchione makes NHL debut for Flyers; goalie Keith Kinkaid starts for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

FLYERS (38-33-8) at DEVILS (27-37-14)

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

Flyers team scope

Philadelphia Flyers center Mike Vecchione and defenseman Samuel Morin will play their first NHL games. Vecchione, signed to a one-year contract by the Flyers on Friday, is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player. He had 63 points (29 goals, 34 assists) in 38 games for Union College this season. "I just will look to stay focused and not let the bigger stage get the best of me," Vecchione said. "I just want to go out there and have some fun. I've been playing hockey my whole life, so I just have some system adjustments to make and play my game." Vecchione expects about 30 family members to be on hand at Prudential Center. Morin, the Flyers' first-round pick (No. 11) in the 2013 NHL Draft, had 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in his second season with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. "My family is planning to be here; they are driving from Quebec City," Morin said. "It's about a 10-hour drive. I'm not nervous. It's hockey and I'm really excited. I worked really hard for this." Morin will be paired with Shayne Gostisbehere to begin the game. "That pair that makes sense; a puck-mover and a good, two-way defender," coach Dave Hakstol said. "I would expect [Morin] to see some penalty-kill time, just like his role has been in Lehigh Valley." The Flyers were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention when they lost 4-3 at the New York Rangers on Sunday. Goalie Steve Mason will start. He is 0-9-0 with a 3.93 goals-against average and .852 save percentage in 11 games against the New Jersey Devils.


Devils team scope

Devils coach John Hynes will confirm his lineup prior to warmups since forwards Jacob Josefson (upper body) and Miles Wood (upper body) are questionable. Hynes said he may use 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Josefson has missed the past 16 games. "The Flyers were eliminated from playoff contention the other night, so they're in the same position as us," forward Kyle Palmieri said. "We want to go out and play well. We've had success in the season series against Philadelphia so hopefully that will continue. We had a good practice [Monday] and we're rested and excited to play in front of our home fans." Defenseman Dalton Prout was suspended two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday for interference against Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas in the second period on Saturday. Prout was given a major penalty for interference and game misconduct on the play. Goaltender Keith Kinkaid will start. He is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .939 save percentage in three career games against the Flyers.


Flyers projected lineup

Travis Konecny -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal -- Valtteri Filppula -- Wayne Simmonds

Dale Weise -- Sean Couturier -- Brayden Schenn

Colin McDonald -- Mike Vecchione -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Ivan Provorov -- Andrew MacDonald

Michael Del Zotto -- Nick Schultz

Samuel Morin -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Steve Mason

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Roman Lyubimov, Chris VandeVelde

Injured: Nick Cousins (concussion), Michael Raffl (lower body), Matt Read (upper body), Michal Neuvirth (undisclosed), Radko Gudas (upper body), Brandon Manning (upper body)


Devils projected lineup

Adam Henrique -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Taylor Hall -- Pavel Zacha -- Michael Cammalleri

Beau Bennett -- Joseph Blandisi -- Stefan Noesen

Miles Wood -- Blake Coleman

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Michael Kapla -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Jon Merrill

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Scratched: None

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

Suspended: Dalton Prout


Status report

Vecchione will fly to Chicago on Thursday to attend the Hobey Baker Award ceremony on Friday. He will not play for the Flyers against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, but could be in the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. ... Neuvirth, who was discharged from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital on Sunday after collapsing in the first period of a 3-0 win against the Devils on Saturday, did not accompany the Flyers to Newark. ... Manning is listed as day to day. … Wood missed the morning skate after sitting out practice on Monday, but Hynes said he would receive treatment later to determine if he can play.


Who's hot

Couturier has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past nine games. ... Schenn has six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak.

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