Flyers-Devils: 5 things you need to know

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Flyers-Devils: 5 things you need to know

The Flyers (33-24-7) will begin an important three-game stretch against Metropolitan Division foes when they take on the Devils (28-24-13) Tuesday evening.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (CSN) at the Wells Fargo Center.

Here’s what you need to know for the game:

1. That’s a wrap
Tuesday marks the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season. The Flyers have won two of the three games, most recently a 3-2 overtime victory at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on Jan. 7.

Interestingly, the road team has won all three contests so far.

Brayden Schenn will likely be a marked man. He’s collected both game-winning goals for the Flyers against the Devils this year and has three points overall in the three meetings.

The Flyers, who will play six of their next seven at home, have gone 7-1-1 in their last nine games and are one point behind the Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Devils have also been playing well as of late. They’ve won four of six since the Olympic break and are still in the thick of the wild-card race in the Eastern Conference.

2. Salute
What more can be said about Devils forward Jaromir Jagr? The future Hall of Famer has exceeded expectations with New Jersey this season and has proven he still is a very valuable player in the NHL.

In fact, Jagr is leading the Devils in assists (35), points (55), plus/minus (plus-17) and shots on goal (168) this season. He also reached the 20-goal mark for the 18th time in his career in New Jersey’s 7-4 loss to the Red Wings on Friday.

Even more impressive, Jagr became the second-oldest player to reach the 20-goal plateau at 42 years and 20 days old. Only Gordie Howe has ever had 20 or more goals in a season later in life (42 years and 324 days old), per the Elias Sports Bureau.

“He loves hockey, he loves to be out there and he’s a great scorer and has always been,” Mark Streit said Monday (see story). “He protects the puck well. You got to keep him on the outside.”

Streit couldn’t be more correct. Jagr is utterly dominant when the puck is on his stick. Watch him closely in any game and you’ll see how much trouble opponents have trying to force a giveaway when he’s the puck carrier. It’s remarkable how much poise the veteran has, and it’s one of the many reasons why he’ll be able to play at a high level for as many more seasons as he chooses.

3. Who’s hot
Adam Henrique has been playing like a man possessed. The speedy forward was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week Monday after scoring five goals in three games.

Overall, Henrique has potted nine markers and 11 points since the Olympic break.

For the Flyers, Jakub Voracek has been on a tear. He’s collected three goals and four assists in his past three games and has looked at lot more confident in the offensive zone.

4. Injuries
Ray Emery returned to practice Monday. He said his pulled groin is feeling better, but he’s not ready to play yet and needs more time (see story).

Steve Downie missed Saturday’s overtime loss to the Maple Leafs with an illness, but will likely return to his usual spot on the Flyers’ third line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read on Tuesday.

New Jersey has no injuries to report.

5. This and that
• Steve Mason will make his sixth consecutive start Tuesday. He’s 26-15-6 with a .913 save percentage and 2.63 goals against average this season.

• Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils. In 91 career games (89 starts) against the Flyers, he is 49-31-10 with a .908 save percentage, 2.39 goals against average and 12 shutouts.

• Vinny Lecavalier needs three goals to reach 400 in his career. Voracek needs three to get to 100.

• New Jersey has gotten strong play from its special teams. The Devils’ power play (20.8 percent) and penalty kill (86.4 percent) both rank in the top 10 in the NHL.

• Claude Giroux was held pointless against Toronto, but has four goals and three assists in his last five games.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny are still alive.

The Flyers reduced their roster to 39 players on Thursday, assigning 10 players to the Phantoms for their separate training camp, which opens on Friday in Lehigh Valley.

There were no major surprises among today’s cuts.

Goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon, both of whom were outstanding during exhibition play, report to the Phantoms as the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in net.

Stolarz had a 1.36 goals against average and .944 save percentage in 88 minutes of game action. Lyon had a 0.67 GAA and .972 save percentage in 90 minutes of playing time.

Together, they teamed up for the 2-0 victory on Wednesday against the Devils (see 10 observations).

Also assigned were defenseman Robert Hagg and Reece Wilcox, plus forwards Radel Fazleev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Danick Martel and Mark Zengerle.

After four games in three nights, the entire camp roster had a complete off-day on Thursday.

Sanheim and Provorov have stood out on defense with the latter virtually certain to make the team.

Konecny was very impressive in exhibition play on Wednesday (see story), and will be given a long leash in camp because of the competition at forward.

Both he and Provorov are just 19 and can only go back to junior if they don’t make the final cut with the Flyers.

Schultz injury
Wednesday’s announcement that veteran defenseman Nick Schultz would miss 4-7 days with a lower body injury — a minor MCL sprain of the knee, according to sources — means extra opportunity for several younger defensemen.

Remember, Radko Gudas still is not 100 percent, but getting close to it with his right wrist (fracture). The two benefactors here could be Sanheim and Sam Morin. Provorov was going to be around until the very end, anyway.

The Flyers have four preseason games remaining. Schultz is expected to return for at least one of the final two games.

Inside Golf
The weekly 30-minute segment will feature the Flyers Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation when it airs on CSN on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.

Harry Donahue visited Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill, NJ earlier this month to catch up with the Flyers. Others on hand are Mark Messier and ESYHF President Scott Tharp, plus Snider Hockey Chairman of the Board Bill Whitmore to learn about Snider Hockey.

The event raised over $1.6 million. You can catch the broadcast on CSN on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. It will also air on TCN on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.

Travis Konecny leaves impression with vets in Flyers' preseason win

Travis Konecny leaves impression with vets in Flyers' preseason win

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Michael Raffl had just finished playing alongside Travis Konecny, the 19-year-old kid that has Flyers fans abuzz about the now and future.

Yet for Raffl, he wasn’t thinking forward. Instead, he was looking back.

“Yeah, well, I couldn’t do that when I was 19, that’s for sure,” the 27-year-old said smiling, eyes wide open. “No, it’s impressive, he’s a really, really good hockey player.”

Konecny had that resounding affect Wednesday night at the PPL Center, recording a goal and an assist while leading the Flyers to a 2-0 preseason win over the Devils (see 10 observations).

He dazzled with speed and shiftiness.

He showed off vision and smarts.

When he touched the puck, he had everyone’s attention.

Paired with Raffl and Brayden Schenn in a game featuring mostly prospects, the 2015 first-round pick made the molding of Ron Hextall’s roster that much more difficult. With the general manager looking on, the highly touted winger started fast before making his imprint during a span of just four minutes and 34 seconds in the second period.

First, he redirected a blast by Andrew MacDonald to hand the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Not long after, the 5-foot-10, 184-pounder deceived the defense to find Raffl right in front off a backdoor pass for a 2-0 advantage.

“We had a cycle play going and he had a nice fake up top there and I was just going to the net,” Raffl said. “Somehow I was all by myself and he saw me, put a perfect pass on my tape and I just went around the goalie and put it in.”

Following his first goal, Konecny nearly tacked on another less than a minute later when he appeared to hit the crossbar on a shot. He also flirted with a few more assists.

“I think I just played relaxed,” Konecny said. “I came into the game tonight trying not to do too much and just keep things simple. The main thing for me was getting pucks out of the zone, so I think I did that well tonight and hopefully I can keep building on it.”

Relieving pucks from the zone isn’t a real problem when you possess the speed and skill of Konecny, who racked up 101 points last season at the junior level.

At just 19, that’s where he’ll have to return if he doesn’t crack the Flyers’ roster.

With cuts already made and more coming, that sometimes is on Konecny’s mind.

“It weighs on you a little bit. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it and it’s definitely the time I need to step up and make sure I’m playing good hockey,” Konecny said. “And just earning another day — that’s just the way I’m looking at it. Every day I wake up and just work hard and move forward from there.

“I think everyone comes into camp and tries to give them (management) a reason not to send you back and make it hard on them.”

Wednesday night didn’t hurt his chances.

“He played a good hockey game,” Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “Had an impact offensively. He did a pretty good job. There’s some youthful mistakes in there, but overall, he had a real good night tonight playing with Raf and Schenner.”

Placing Konecny with two capable NHL forwards offered the Canadian an opportunity to prove what he could do if he was in fact on the big club.

“We played well together,” Konecny said. “I think from the start we just had a lot of communication, we talked in the room, in warmups, we all knew what we were going to do throughout the game and in certain scenarios.”

If anything, Konecny left an impression on Raffl.

“He’s a very smart player,” Raffl said. “Once he has the puck, he makes smart decisions with it. It was very easy to play with him out there. He plays a mature game and I really enjoyed it.”

Time will tell if more enjoyment is in store come Oct. 14.

Loose pucks
Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon combined for the shutout. Stolarz started and made 11 saves over 29:23, while Lyon played 30:37 and stopped seven shots. “I like both of our guys tonight,” Hakstol said. “Stolie did a good job, he made a difference in this game in the first 10 minutes, those two or three really good saves there. Then Alex came in halfway through, which isn’t an easy thing to do and was ready to go and did his job.” … Schenn, MacDonald and defensive prospect Robert Hagg finished with an assist apiece. … With the roster currently standing at 49, the Flyers expect to make 15 cuts on Thursday. … Defenseman Nick Schultz is out four to seven days with a lower-body injury suffered in Tuesday night’s preseason game. ... The Flyers are off Thursday before likely practicing Friday ahead of Saturday's preseason game at 7 p.m. against the Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center.