Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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Denver

Devils look to maintain hot start vs. struggling Flyers

Sports Xchange
20 Oct 2018, 10:16 GMT+10

The New Jersey Devils will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for a Saturday matinee.

The Devils (4-1) surrendered a 3-2 third-period lead and dropped a 5-3 decision on two late goals to the visiting Colorado Avalanche Thursday night.

"We found a way to dig in there in the third and give ourselves a chance, but at that point we just have to make sure, with four minutes left, that we're smart and protecting the house there," Devils captain Andy Greene told NHL.com. "We needed to live to fight for another day and, at that point, make sure we play for the point and go from there."

Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists, Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist, and Keith Kinkaid made 29 saves for New Jersey, which was last remaining undefeated team in the NHL and was denied a chance at its first 5-0 start since starting 1993-94 7-0.

The Devils also lost a pair of skaters Thursday. Center Travis Zajac and defenseman Ben Lovejoy are both day-to-day with a lower body injury and won't pay Saturday.

On the plus side, the Devils activated goaltender Cory Schneider, who will head to Binghamton of the American Hockey League for a conditioning assignment. The 32-year-old is rehabbing after May 1 surgery to repair torn cartilage in his hip.

"We want to see him get through a game, see how he responds to 60 minutes while working in more read-and-react situations than just practice," Devils coach John Hynes told NHL.com. "It's important for him to play a live-game situation against another opponent where the score of the game matters."

The Flyers are also coming off a Thursday night loss, 6-3 at Columbus.

Philadelphia (3-4) has allowed 11 goals in its last two games, though one was a 6-5 win over Florida.

"It's pretty embarrassing," center Sean Couturier told NHL.com. "Offensively, we're trying too much, making high-risk plays. We're creating chances, but when we're not, we're giving up odd-man rushes and getting caught defensively. "It's got to stop. This high-risk, almost summer hockey is getting out of hand."

Philadelphia has given up 31 goals in its first seven games. The last time they endured a similar stretch was 2008 when they allowed 32 goals in seven games. adStreetHockey.com.

Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist, and Claude Giroux had two assists for the Flyers. Calvin Pickard allowed six goals on 28 shots in his second start for Philadelphia.

"What you see are at times is guys trying to do a little too much," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told the team's website. "When you try and extend a shift, try to make one more play, most times that's when negative plays are going to come right back at you."

Kinkaid has started all five games for New Jersey and had 1.61 goals against average and a .941 save percentage. Versus the Flyers he's 6-1 with a 2.38 GAA and .918 save percentage. Philadelphia's Brian Elliott is 5-4 with a 2.69 GAA and .894 save percentage against the Devils.

Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri is off to the best start of his NHL career with seven goals and eight points in five games.

Flyers center Nolan Patrick was a full participant in practice Friday for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury in Ottawa, though his status for Saturday is uncertain.

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