The Philadelphia Flyers (3-2-1) and the New Jersey Devils (3-1-1) are set to drop the puck at 7:00 P.M. Eastern Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.
Despite losing three of their previous four games, the Flyers are the favorites at (-152). Conversely, the Devils have won three of their last four but are underdogs at (+130).
Philadelphia Flyers Overview
The Flyers have been inconsistent out of the gate, looking dominant against the Pittsburgh Penguins but fell flat against the Boston Bruins. In their wins, they’ve outscored opponents 14-5; in losses, they’ve been outscored 17-6.
Carter Hart has struggled in net, allowing four or more goals in each of his past three starts. As such, Brian Elliott has been confirmed as the starter on Tuesday. Elliott has a 1-0-0 record through two games, along with a 1.31 GAA and a .964 save percentage. He also picked up a shutout against the Buffalo Sabres.
Sean Couturier is out of the lineup once again while recovering from a rib injury. He skated in practice on Monday but is still some time away from returning. His absence means Scott Laughton and Nolan Patrick are expected to pick up the slack down the middle of the forward group.
Kevin Hayes leads the team in points with three goals and five assists. Travis Konecny leads in goals with five on the year.
New Jersey Devils Overview
New Jersey is buying into new head coach Lindy Ruff’s system and the on-ice performance is already paying dividends. Jack Hughes, the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft, is playing with a ton of confidence, leading the team with three goals and four assists. Last season, it took Hughes 12 games to record seven points; this year, he’s done it in less than half as many games.
The team has played well in front of goaltenders Mackenzie Blackwood and Scott Wedgewood as well, allowing both to shine between the pipes. Wedgewood is the expected starter Tuesday, carrying a 1-1-0 record, 2.00 GAA, and .937 save percentage into the game. Should things change and Blackwood gets the nod, Blackwood has a 2-0-1 record, 1.90 GAA, and .948 save percentage.
Thursday’s game, also against the Flyers, will be Ruff’s 1500th game as an NHL head coach. Ruff has a record of 739 wins, 555 losses, 78 ties, and 126 overtime losses in his coaching career. He sits 39 wins behind Al Arbour for fifth place on the all-time Coaching Wins list.
The Pick Is In
Special teams could play a major factor in Tuesday’s game. The Flyers’ power play has scored just over 26% of the time, while New Jersey’s penalty kill unit has only killed 66.7% of their penalties. On the other side, the Devils power play sits at 15.4% while the Flyers PK is at 63.6%. The Flyers have one more penalty minute on the season than New Jersey.
Philadelphia took the top seed in the Eastern Conference during the playoff bubble last season and has aspirations of another Cup run this year. Putting an end to their losing ways Tuesday would be a great place to start. Take the Flyers in a low-scoring affair.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (-152)