New Jersey Devils Game 27 Preview: at Philadelphia Flyers

ELMONT, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Dougie Hamilton #7 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Islanders at the UBS Arena on December 11, 2021 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With only two wins in their last ten games, the struggling New Jersey Devils travel down the turnpike for a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tale of the Tape

Record: 10-11-5 (25 points, 6th in Metro)

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

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Wells Fargo Center

Expected Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood (5-4-3) vs. Carter Hart (6-8-3)

Television Broadcasts: MSG, NBCSP

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers snapped their ten-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights last Friday. Philadelphia turned around and won the next night as well beating the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Tonight, they return to the Wells Fargo Center looking for their first home win since November 16.

Philadelphia is expected to turn to goaltender Carter Hart for tonight’s matchup with New Jersey. Hart got the win for the Flyers in Las Vegas bringing his record to 6-8-3 on the year. The 23-year-old goaltender also carries a 2.91 GAA and .913 save percentage with one shutout into tonight.

The team announced yesterday that forward Derek Brassard will miss another week with a lower-body injury. Philadelphia has also been without defenseman Ryan Ellis since November 13.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils have been on a slide for the better part of the last month. With only two wins in their last ten, New Jersey has fallen a game below NHL .500 and currently sits one point ahead of the Flyers.

To make matters worse, New Jersey is also feeling the effects of Covid-19 as Nico Hischier, Ryan Graves, and Christian Jaros are in the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol. In a corresponding move, the Devils have called up forward Marián Studenič and defenseman Kevin Bahl.

New Jersey handed the New York Islanders their first win at UBS Arena in their last time out. The team seemingly stopped playing after jumping out to a 2-1 lead in the first period as they lost the game 4-2. Goaltender Akira Schmid received the loss in his first career NHL start.

Mackenzie Blackwood is expected to get the start tonight in Philadelphia as he is 8-0-2 against them in his career. With Jonathan Bernier’s health status up in the air because of a hip injury, Blackwood’s workload is expected to increase sizably in the coming weeks. The 25-year-old goaltender is 5-4-3 this season with 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage as well as two shutouts.

Player to Watch: Kevin Bahl

Bahl is up with the big club for the second time in his career and the first time this season. The 6’6″ defenseman is not going to be flashy or appear on the scoresheet but that is not what the Devils need out him. They need a defenseman that his solid in his own end and makes the right decision. Bahl can be that for the team while he is up.

The 21-year-old defenseman recorded two assists in seven games with the Devils last season. Bahl has two assists in 19 games with the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League this season with a plus-ten rating and 29 penalty minutes.

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