Flyers-Devils: Game 51 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

With Thursday's defeat and official elimination from playoff contention, everything from here for the Flyers is mere formality. Six games remain on the 2020-21 season, and it is only after those are completed that the real work will begin in the offseason and certain questions about what went wrong and what needs to be done will be answered.

For now, the games continue with the final game of a four-game series with the New Jersey Devils. The series closes on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P New Jersey Devils GP G A P
Jake Voracek 47 9 31 40 Pavel Zacha 44 13 17 30
James van Riemsdyk 50 16 23 39 Jack Hughes 50 11 16 27
Claude Giroux 48 14 22 36 Jesper Bratt 40 6 21 27
Sean Couturier 39 15 21 36 Yegor Sharangovich 48 14 12 26
Joel Farabee 49 15 16 31 Miles Wood 50 17 8 25

Players To Watch 5-1

The Flyers gave Kevin Hayes the night off on Thursday, citing both health and performance as reasons. Hayes gets back into the lineup on Saturday and is also playing in his 500th NHL game. He's one of the many Flyers who have had disappointing performances this season.
Yegor Sharangovich had the first two goals of Thursday's game and three over his last two games. He's becoming a bit of a Flyers killer in this series, so watch for the rookie to have an impact in this game too. 
Goalie Matchup 5-1

Brian Elliott is back in goal for the Flyers. Elliott allowed five goals in Tuesday's loss, bringing his record to 13-7-2 and his GAA to 2.98 on the season. With six games remaining, Elliott likely has four more starts, including Saturday night.

Mackenzie Blackwood gets back in goal for the fourth time this week. Blackwood has been good in the last two wins, despite allowing three goals or more in each. He looks for a third straight win against the Flyers.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 5-1

Flyers Scratches: Sam Morin (healthy), Jackson Cates (healthy), Carsen Twarynski (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 5-1

Devils Scratches: Andreas Johnsson (injury), Matt Tennyson (injury), P.K. Subban (COVID protocol), Jonas Siegenthaler (COVID protocol), Marian Studenic (healthy), Nolan Foote (healthy), Aaron Dell (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Egor Zamula was sent to the taxi squad on Saturday morning, presumably to allow for Shayne Gostisbehere to return to the lineup. Nicolas Aube-Kubel is also returning to the lineup, in addition to Hayes.
  • Devils: No changes are expected for the Devils following Thursday's win.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (20th), Devils (T-27th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th), Devils (31st)
  • Recent History vs. Devils
    • Jan. 26, 2021 – Flyers 5, Devils 3 (at NJ)
    • Jan. 28, 2021 – Flyers 3, Devils 1 (at NJ)
    • March 23, 2021 – Devils 4, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
    • April 25, 2021 – Flyers 4, Devils 3 (F/SO) (at PHI)
    • April 27, 2021 – Devils 6, Flyers 4 (at NJ)
    • April 29, 2021 – Devils 5, Flyers 3 (at NJ)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Devils
    • Claude Giroux – 57 GP, 15 G, 38 A, 53 P
    • James van Riemsdyk – 40 GP, 16 G, 15 A, 31 P
    • Jake Voracek – 47 GP, 7 G, 31 A, 38 P
    • Brian Elliott – 15 GP, 8-7-0, 2.97 GAA, .884 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs two power-play goals to pass Eric Lindros for 8th all-time in Flyers history.
    • Kevin Hayes plays in his 500th NHL game tonight.
    • Kevin Hayes needs three points to reach 300 for his career. 

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN