NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, October 30th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (4-1-3-1) at New Jersey Devils (3-3-2-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers try to stretch their unbeaten
streak to four tonight when they visit the New Jersey Devils in an Atlantic
Division clash at the Meadowlands.
Philadelphia is 2-0-1 since a two-game losing streak, including consecutive
wins over Montreal and Florida. After Monday's 5-0 pounding of the Canadiens,
the Flyers notched a 5-1 victory against the Panthers two nights later.
Michal Handzus and Joni Pitkanen each had a goal and an assist to pace the
effort, and Justin Williams, Jeremy Roenick and John LeClair tallied as well.
Tony Amonte and Simon Gagne contributed two assists apiece, and Robert Esche
made 21 saves.
LeClair has scored in each of his two games since returning from a broken foot
suffered in the preseason. Handzus and Roenick, meanwhile, are tied with Mark
Recchi for the club lead at four goals.
The Flyers finished 3-for-9 on the power play, which improved their overall
mark to a very uncharacteristic 11-for-47 (23.4 percent).
As for the goaltending situation, Esche made his second straight start, but
Jeff Hackett is expected to be in there this evening. Since opening the season
with consecutive shutouts, Hackett has surrendered four goals in three
The Flyers will visit Toronto on Saturday to conclude a brief road trip.
New Jersey, meanwhile, has won two of its last three overall, but continues
the search for its first home win. The Devils are 0-3-1 at the Meadowlands
after going 25-11-3-2 on friendly ice a season ago.
On Tuesday, Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season,
leading the Devils to a 4-0 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau
Coliseum. Jay Pandolfo and John Madden each notched a goal and an assist, and
Jeff Friesen and Brian Gionta tallied as well.
The four goals were the most for the Devils this season, topping the three the
club scored in its opening tie on October 8 against Boston.
On the injury front, the Devils could get the rugged Turner Stevenson
(testicular surgery) back in the lineup after he missed the first eight games.
Stevenson's grit could come in handy in tonight's match, because the
temperature on the ice normally rises when these two teams meet.
The Devils kick off a four-game homestand tonight and will host Colorado on
New Jersey went 3-1-1 against Philly last season, but has lost three of the
last five series games played at the Meadowlands.
10/30 10:10:07 ET