NHL Hockey: Philadelphia Flyers/New Jersey Devils Preview, Odds and Prediction - 03/23/2021

by Big Al Staff

New Jersey visits Philadelphia on the NBC Sports Network in a battle of two teams currently outside the East Division playoff picture.

The Devils are playing better as of late, with three wins in their last four games. They defeated the Penguins on the road in a 2-1 victory in overtime on Sunday. Jesper Bratt scored the game-winner with a wrap-around shot at the 2:50 mark in OT. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced.

The three victories that New Jersey has piled up since last Monday surpasses the two wins they have compiled in a 14-game stretch from February 20th to last Monday. The Devils are in seventh place in the East with 26 points. They are ten points behind Boston for the final playoff spot in the division.

Daniel Zacha leads the team with 18 points. The center has seven goals and 11 assists. Center Jack Hughes has added seven goals and nine assists. Ty Smith is third on the team with 15 points, with the defenseman scoring two goals while contributing 13 assists.

Blackwood will likely make his 17th start of the season tonight. He has posted a 7-8-1 record with a 2.91 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage in his 16 games. In six starts this month, Blackwood is 2-4-0 with a 3.49 goals-against-average and a .894 save percentage.

Philadelphia lost their third game in their last four in a 2-1 loss in overtime against the New York Islanders last night. The Flyers took a 1-0 lead in the second period with a goal by Oskar Lindblom before surrendering the tying goal at the 4:06 mark in the third period. The Islanders scored the game-winner 3:41 minutes into overtime. Philadelphia peppered Islanders’ goalie Ilya Sorokin with 37 shots but could only beat him one time.

The Flyers are amidst a slide where they have lost five of their last seven games. With 34 points, they are two points behind the Bruins for fourth place and the final spot in the East Division playoffs.

Brian Elliott stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced last night for Philly. Carter Hart will likely get the start tonight. The 22-year old has an 8-7-3 record in his 18 starts. He has struggled in his 20 games this season with a 3.83 goals-against-average, and a .875 save percentage. Hart was 9-5 in 14 playoff starts last fall with a 2.23 goals-against-average and a .926 save percentage for the Flyers. Hart has a 2-4-0 record this month with a 4.08 goals-against-average and a .821 save percentage in eight games.

James van Riemsdyk leads the team with 29 points. The left-winger has 13 goals and 16 assists. Left-winger Joel Farabee has added 13 goals with 12 assists. Center Claude Giroux has seven goals and 17 assists.

Philadelphia will next host the New York Rangers in the third game of a four-game homestand. New Jersey travels to Washington on Thursday for the second game of a six-game road trip.

BookMaker lists Philadelphia as a -160 money line favorite with the total set at 6.

Computer prediction: Philadelphia Flyers 4 New Jersey Devils 2

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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