Flyers Gameday: 5/1/21 vs NJ
GAME 51: FLYERS vs. DEVILS
Alain Vigneault's Philadelphia Flyers (22-21-7) are home on Saturday to take on Lindy Ruff's New Jersey Devils (16-27-7). Game time at the Wells Fargo Center is 7 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised on NBCSP.
The two have been facing off all week. Tonight's game is the fourth of the four this week and the seventh game of the eight-game season series between the teams. The teams will return to the Wells Fargo Center on May 10; the final game of the season for both teams.
The Flyers are 3-3-0 against the Devils this season. Philadelphia earned 5-3 and 3-1 victories at the Prudential Center on January 26 and 28. The Devils skated to a 4-3 win at the Wells Fargo Center on March 23 as a late rally by the Flyers fell short.
On April 25, two late goals by Claude Giroux rescued the Flyers from a regulation loss before the team prevailed 4-3 (3-2) via shootout. On April 27, the Flyers battled back from deficits of 3-0, 4-3 and 5-4 but nonetheless went down to a 6-4 defeat. On April 29, the Flyers cut deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to a single goal before the Devils pulled away in the latter part of the third period on the way to a 5-3 victory for New York.
On Thursday, the Flyers were mathematically eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention. The team had an optional practice on Friday. They will not have a morning skate today.
A semi-healthy scratch on Thursday -- not 100 percent healthy but available to play, per Vigneault -- Kevin Hayes will return to the lineup for this game. So will Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who has been scratched for several games.
Shayne Gostisbehere (MCL sprain) participated in practice on Friday. He is likely to play on in this game but Vigneault said that he wanted to see first on game day if Gostisbehere physically feels ready to go.
Brian Elliott will get the start in goal, according to Vigneault.
With Hayes and Aube-Kubel returning to the lineup, two forwards would sit out. Vigneault said those decisions would be finalized on Saturday. At 4:30 p.m., he will run down the lineup.
In each of the three games against the Flyers this week, the Devils have jumped out to multi-goal leads. They've had significant issues closing games out in the third period -- despite winning two of the three matches --but New Jersey has been the hungrier team overall. New Jersey's power play, which has struggled against the rest of the East Division, has feasted off the Flyers' penalty kill. However, on Thursday, the Devils did cough up a shorthanded breakaway goal to Scott Laughton; the Flyers' first SHG all season season.
Ruff indicated on Wednesday that Mackenzie Blackwood would get most of the remaining starts in goal. He has been in net for each of the three previous games this week against the Flyers.
28 Claude Giroux -14 Sean Couturier - 93 Jakub Voracek
86 Joel Farabee - 13 Kevin Hayes - 11 Travis Konecny
25 James van Riemsdyk - 21 Scott Laughton - 57 Wade Allison
23 Oskar Lindblom - - 19 Nolan Patrick - 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
9 Ivan Provorov - 61 Justin Braun
6 Travis Sanheim - 53 Shayne Gostisbehere
8 Robert Hägg - 5 Phil Myers
37 Brian Elliott
[34 Alex Lyon]
PP1: Giroux, Couturier, Allison, Voracek, Gostisbehere
PP2: Hayes, Farabee, JVR, Konecny, Provorov
Scratches: 55 Samuel Morin (healthy), 59 Jackson Cates (healthy), 53 79 Carter Hart (MCL sprain, out for the remainder of the season).
Injured reserve: 48 Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery), 58 Tanner Laczynski (hip surgery).
COVID-19 protocol: None.
59 Janne Kuokkanen - 86 Jack Hughes - 17 Yegor Sharangovich
37 Pavel Zacha - 13 Nico Hischier - 63 Jesper Bratt
90 Jesper Boqvist - 23 Mikhail Maltsev - 39 Nick Merkley
44 Miles Wood - 20 Michael McLeod - 14 Nathan Bastian
22 Ryan Murray - 28 Damon Severson
8 Will Butcher - 5 Connor Carrick
24 Ty Smith - 88 Kevin Bahl
29 Mackenzie Blackwood
[41 Scott Wedgewood]
PP1: Hischier, Zacha, Bratt, Hughes, Smith
PP2: Kuokkanen, Sharangovich, Wood, Severson, Butcher
Scratches: 7 Matt Tennyson (healthy), 11 Andreas Johansson (lower body), 47 Aaron Dell (healthy).
Injured Reserve: None
COVID-19 protocol: 71 Jonas Siegenthaler, 76 P.K. Subban.