The Flyers travel to New Jersey tonight to kick off the second half of the season. This will be the first meeting of the year between these two teams, and the first meeting between the 2017 draft’s top two picks, Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier.
New Jersey got off to an incredible start to the season, leading the Metropolitan Division for most of the early stage of the year. While they still maintain the third spot in the Metro, it does appear they’re starting to come back down to earth, as they enter this game on a five-game losing streak.
In comparison, the Flyers will be gunning for their fourth straight win after finishing out the final stretch before the bye week in a strong manner.
Flyers Point Leaders
Devils Point Leaders
Devils Player to Watch: Nico Hischier. I mean, this goes without saying, right? Hischier was the number one overall pick this past June and has put together a solid start to his NHL career. In his first matchup between himself and Patrick, he should be on everyone’s radar.
Vice versa, extra eyes will be on Patrick in this game, whether it matters or not. It’s rare when two division rivals get the top two draft picks and for both of those players to play right away. This will be a game not only the Philadelphia and New Jersey media will pay close attention to, but some national media as well.
Flyers raw CF%: 49.44
Devils raw CF%: 47.52
Flyers xGF%: 50.68
Devils xGF% 50.43
Despite the Flyers relatively dominating the Devils in corsi-for percentage, the Devils’ quality of shots keeps them right with the Flyers at least in the expected goals-for department. Overall this is a game where I could definitely see the Flyers losing 2-1 despite out-shooting New Jersey all night because of that one defensive breakdown that will burn them.
Let’s just say the Flyers aren’t the favorites tonight by any stretch of the imagination! This is obviously to follow the Eagles trend with being the underdog, you know, city solidarity and whatnot. The Devils are favored 58.1 to 41.9 percent. Let’s go, the underdogs!
Flyers Projected Lineup
Giroux – Couturier – Konecny
Raffl – Filppula – Voracek
Weal – Patrick – Simmonds
Goulbourne – Laughton – Weise
Provorov – Gostisbehere
Hagg – MacDonald
Manning – Gudas