October 2, 2023

3 Storylines: Devils @ Flyers, December 14


AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The 10-12-4 Flyers will aim for a season-best third straight win Tuesday night as they return to the Wells Fargo Center. To accomplish said feat, they’ll have to beat a team that has become a pain in their butts, the 10-11-5 New Jersey Devils.

Here’s three storylines and the projected lineups for both teams:

Trying to change the story

The Devils handed the Flyers two of their losses during the club’s 10-game losing streak. The Flyers have been outscored 8-2 by New Jersey, with both of the losses coming at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Those outcomes mark the Devils’ only two wins in their last 10 games (2-6-2).

“They play with a lot of speed, that’s a fast team. And it’s a team that has given us troubles the last couple of years,” Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said Monday after his first official practice. “We approach every game that it’s always about us, it’s about our game, it’s about being aggressive in our game, but that said, we’ve got a challenge tomorrow and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it. They’ve taken it to us and we’ve got to step up our game against them.”

Starting to pick up the pace

Under Yeo, the Flyers are coming off consecutive wins for the first time since October 27-28. Over last weekend, they beat the Golden Knights, 4-3, in Las Vegas and the Coyotes, 5-3, in Glendale, Arizona.

The Flyers are 2-2-0 since Yeo went from an assistant to interim head coach and snapped their 10-game streak in Las Vegas.

“If we’re playing well, when you pause the screen, you should see four, five guys in the picture,” Yeo said. “If we’re checking as a five-man unit, if we’re attacking as a five-man unit, then we’re going to have more options, we’re going to be tougher to play against, both with and without the puck. That’s a big focus.”

The Flyers have persisted on staying much more connected in the defensive zone and neutral zone. The tighter gaps allow for quicker killed plays and higher percentage breakouts.

“When you watch the good teams, they’re not spread out usually, especially in the D-zone,” Justin Braun said. “You’ve got to have that close support; you don’t want to be just throwing it up to the covered winger who’s covered by the D every time hoping he’s going to chip it out. Making those plays, zone exits with the puck. Not just throwing them so they get a regroup and they’re firing it back down at you. Those little detail things help.”

Someone else it starting to heat up

With these past two consecutive wins, James van Rymsdyk has also had himself a great past two games.

van Riemsdyk had three goals and nine shots in the Flyers’ two wins.

He owns 17 goals and 32 points in 44 career games against the Devils.

Projected lineups


Scott Laughton — Sean Couturier — Travis Konecny
Morgan Frost — Claude Giroux — Cam Atkinson
James van Riemsdyk — Kevin Hayes — Max Willman
Oskar Lindblom — Patrick Brown — Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov — Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim — Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle — Kevin Connauton

Carter Hart
[Martin Jones]

Scratched: Nick Seeler

Injured: Ryan Ellis (lower body), Joel Farabee (shoulder), Derick Brassard (hip), Nate Thompson (shoulder)


Pavel Zacha — Jack Hughes — Yegor Sharangovich
Andreas Johnsson — Dawson Mercer — Jesper Bratt
Janne Kuokkanen — Jesper Boqvist — Tomas Tatar
Mason Geertsen — Michael McLeod — Jimmy Vesey

Ty Smith — Dougie Hamilton
Jonas Siegenthaler — Damon Severson
Kevin Bahl — P.K. Subban

Mackenzie Blackwood
[Akira Schmid]

Scratched: Marian Studenic

Injured: Miles Wood (right hip), Tyce Thompson (upper body), Jonathan Bernier (hip)

COVID-19 protocol: Nico Hischier, Ryan Graves, Christian Jaros

Watch the game live from the Wells Fargo Center on NBC Sports Philadelphia at 7:00pm ET and listen on 97.5 the Fanatic.

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