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.
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.
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.