New Jersey Devils Game 24 Preview: vs. Philadelphia Flyers

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 06: Tomas Tatar #90 of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by teammates after he scored during the shootout against the Ottawa Senators at Prudential Center on December 06, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The Ottawa Senators defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-3 after a shootout. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils find themselves looking for answers ahead of tonight’s matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tale of the Tape

Record: 9-9-5 (23 points, 6th in Metro)

The Opponent: Philadelphia Flyers (8-11-4)

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Prudential Center

Expected Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (4-3-3) vs. Carter Hart (5-7-3)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, NBCSP

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers have been playing poorly for the last three weeks. Philadelphia enters tonight’s game on a nine-game winless streak that stretches back to November 18. The team also made headlines this week with the firing of Alain Vigneault following a 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.

In their first game with Mike Yeo behind the bench, the Flyers suffered a 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Philadelphia’s poor defensive play was the centerpiece of the loss allowing 50 Avalanche shots including 19 in third period.

Carter Hart will get the start tonight in New Jersey. The 23-year-old goaltender has yet to regain his Vezina caliber form that the league saw in his first two seasons. Hart is 5-7-3 this year with 2.95 GAA and .911 save percentage in 15 games.

New Jersey Devils

After Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, desperation is the word that his hanging around the Devils’ locker room today.

In their last game, New Jersey looked to change their first period narrative as Damon Severson put the team on the board less than a minute into the game. The team then fell flat for the rest of the contest as Ottawa tied the game in the second period.

New Jersey generated some scoring chances in overtime but could not find the back of the net. Shootout goals from Tim Stützle and Josh Norris propelled the Senators to the 3-2 victory.

The fact of the matter is that 24 shots on goal through 65 minutes is unacceptable against any NHL team and especially against a Senators team that struggles to keep the puck out of their own net. A lot of that is New Jersey passing up good shooting opportunities and looking for the perfect play.

If New Jersey wants to win tonight, then they have to shoot the puck early and often. The opportunities will be there with the way the Flyers have been playing lately and they must jump on a desperate team early.

The Devils’ expected goaltender for tonight is Mackenzie Blackwood. Blackwood carries a 4-3-3 record with a 3.07 GAA and .907 save percentage into tonight’s matchup.

New Jersey will also be sporting a new look tonight as they will be debuting their new black third jerseys.

Player to Watch: P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban recorded an assist in Monday’s game for his 10th point of the season. Subban brought up being desperate in tonight’s game and that’s how the whole team will need to play tonight. That starts with the 32-year-old defenseman who is a leader in the locker room.

Expect Subban to lead by example by shooting the puck early and often tonight. With players in front of the net, Subban’s shot is as dangerous as ever and the team will look to him for some blue line offense.

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