Flyers vs. Devils Preview
After stringing together two straight wins for the first time all season, the New Jersey Devils were shut out in an embarrassing loss their last time out.
It may not get much better with the NHL's highest-scoring team coming to town.
New Jersey meets the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday hoping for a third straight win at the Prudential Center.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Flyers -120 money line favorites for Saturday's game against the Devils. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 86% of more than 60 bets for this game have been placed on the Devils +120.
Trends say the Devils are 16-5 ATS after three or more consecutive unders over the last two seasons.
The Devils lost a matchup of the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference on Friday, falling to the New York Islanders 2-0. The Islanders ended a 14-game losing streak, and it was the fourth time New Jersey (7-14-2) has been shut out. The Devils were held without a goal six times last season.
New Jersey was unable to score during 58 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage in the third period, ending hopes of a comeback.
"We put a burst on, but the Islanders are a young team, they worked hard," coach John MacLean told the Devils' official website. "They outworked us, and they deserved to win. You can't expect to play 20 minutes and think that you're going to get a win, and we didn't."
Ilya Kovalchuk hasn't had a point in four straight games, and he has one goal and three assists in his last 14. Kovalchuk has recorded more penalty minutes (13) than points (10).
Johan Hedberg, starting his third straight game for the injured Martin Brodeur, made 18 saves. It's unclear whether he'll start Saturday, but Hedberg has won his last three matchups against Philadelphia, posting a shutout Nov. 28, 2009, while playing with Atlanta.
"Very frustrating, but we have to reload," Hedberg said. "There's 20 hours until next puck drop and that's going to be another huge one. We can't dwell on it too long. We have to learn from it, I guess, and move on."
New Jersey has lost six of seven to Philadelphia, which is coming off a controversial 3-2 shootout loss Friday against Calgary.
The Flyers (15-6-3) appeared to score in overtime, but Mike Richards' goal was disallowed due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defenseman Chris Pronger. The referees determined Pronger shielded Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff's view purposely with his hand.
Pronger insisted he was instructing his teammates on the ice and it wasn't his intent to interfere with Kiprusoff.
"I wasn't turned around waving at him," Pronger said. "I put my hand back on my stick and the puck went in the net. It's infuriating. It should've been two points instead of one. There's no question about it. All you have to do is watch the replay. It doesn't really matter, does it? I'm not going to get into a he said she said with the refs."
James van Riemsdyk extended his goal-scoring streak to three and he has six points in his last five games. Philadelphia, which leads the NHL with 86 goals, was held under three for the first time in five games.
The Flyers are 6-2-1 in their last nine and have won 12 of 16.