The Philadelphia Flyers look to continue their home dominance on Thursday when they host the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers, who are riding high on a five-game point streak (4-0-1), have won three in a row at the Wells Fargo Center to improve to 18-4-4 when listed as the home team this season.
Philadelphia veteran Brian Elliott has filled in admirably in place of the injured Carter Hart, posting a 4-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average and .935 save percentage since the second-year star goaltender exited the lineup. The 34-year-old Elliott recorded his second shutout in three starts following a 16-save performance in a 3-0 win at Detroit on Monday. While the Flyers have benefited from a sterling 6-1-1 stretch to move into the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Devils have dropped three in a row and six of their last seven (1-3-3) to make themselves comfortable in the cellar of the Metropolitan Division. Kyle Palmieri provided New Jersey with a brief positive on Tuesday after he capped a two-goal performance by scoring with 20 seconds left in regulation, albeit in a 5-4 setback to Montreal.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: MSG-Plus2, NBCS Philadelphia
ABOUT THE DEVILS (18-24-10): One day after setting up both of Palmieri's power-play goals, Blake Coleman shrewdly elected to bend the ear of former New Jersey star Patrik Elias in regard to what he can do to improve his play with the man advantage. "Just talking about shooting in the softer areas," the 28-year-old Coleman said of the conversation with Elias, who recorded 333 power-play points in his decorated career. "Obviously, he's played a lot of a power play in his career and I've been getting a little bit of a chance here so I just want to make the most of it. ... It's more just mechanics than anything and just taking in what he has to say." Coleman's 19 goals are tied for the team lead with Palmieri, who notched a pair of assists in the Devils' 4-3 shootout loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 1.
ABOUT THE FLYERS (29-17-7): Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere returned to practice on Wednesday and could be in line to end a 10-game absence following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. "Our team right now is playing fairly well," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said. "We have a decision to make there. I haven't sat down with the coaches yet to hash that through because I've been waiting for the medical crew to definitely clear Shayne." While Gostisbehere's availability is in question, Ivan Provorov has been constant in the lineup. The former first-round pick will become the second defenseman in NHL history (Dan Girardi) to start his career by playing in 300 straight games with the same team when he takes the ice on Thursday.
1. Philadelphia C Scott Laughton has scored a goal in three straight games.
2. Devils C Nico Hischier (knee) and D Sami Vatanen (undisclosed) have been ruled out versus the Flyers, interim coach Alain Nasreddine said after practice Wednesday.
3. Flyers C Kevin Hayes has scored a short-handed goal in back-to-back games to lift his total to an NHL-best four on the season.