Flyers look to continue home success vs. Devils

NHL Hockey
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The Philadelphia Flyers will be looking for their third victory in a row when they host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

The Flyers will also be searching for their 19th home win this season. They enter this matchup with an 18-4-4 mark at home.

Philadelphia could receive a major boost with the return of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who has been out the last 10 games while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

“He’ll be ready for Thursday’s game,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “He was playing through it (and) it was painful. I think now he’ll be 100 percent. It’s just a matter of him getting his conditioning and his timing back.”

Meanwhile, captain Claude Giroux is struggling through a stretch in which he has failed to score a goal in 12 straight games. Giroux has 13 goals and 35 points this season.

“There’s no doubt he wants to be a difference-maker and the player he has been for so many years,” Vigneault told Inquirer.com. “He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself. He wants to lead and wants to do it the right way. But, for me, he needs to make better plays with the puck.

“Right now, he’s having a harder time seeing what’s open and what the right play is.”

It’s unclear whether Brian Elliott or Alex Lyon will start while goalie Carter Hart is still sidelined with an abdominal strain.

“It’s going in the right direction and I’m feeling better every day,” Hart said. “I’m putting the work in to come back as soon as I can.”

The skidding Devils, who remain last in the Metropolitan Division, will be looking to avoid a fourth consecutive loss. New Jersey has only 46 points.

The latest frustrating defeat came at home Tuesday when the Devils relinquished a 3-0 lead and fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens.

Kyle Palmieri scored two power-play goals for New Jersey, including the equalizer with 20 seconds left in regulation. Jesper Bratt and Miles Wood also scored one goal apiece for the Devils, who have been extended past regulation in four straight games.

Goaltender Louis Domingue stopped 32 shots.

But the result was another loss for a scuffling franchise.

“Right after the short-handed goal, they turned it up to another level,” Palmieri told reporters. “They played with the desperation they needed to get back in the game and we were unable to match it. That’s what happens. We found a way to grind out and get a point but, yeah, we were controlling the game until that point and I think we let our foot off the gas and they picked it up.”

Like so many other games this season, the Devils played well in stretches and then made errors in others, which ultimately cost them in the end.

“I’ll be honest, I thought we defended well for most of the game,” Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine said. “It’s something we talk about, the costly mistakes in this league cost you goals.”

Center Nico Hischier (knee) and defenseman Sami Vatanen (undisclosed) missed Tuesday’s game with injuries.

–Field Level Media

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