Only two points separate the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference standings. With just two games left between the two rivals this season, and the possible fourth seed on the line, the Devils know they want the best finish.
"You want to finish as high as possible," Devils coach Peter DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "You want the playoff road to be as easy as possible. So, it's important to everybody. I guess everybody puts their own emphasis on it, where they want it. It's not critical. We're a good road team. We're a good home team. But we obviously want to finish as high as we can."
The Devils will look to move into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight at the Prudential Center. Gametime is 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG Plus.
The teams have split the season series, with each team unable to win on home ice. New Jersey won the last meeting, 6-4, on February 4 in Philadelphia. New Jersey scored six straight goals over the first two periods, but had to hold off a late charge by the Flyers. Johan Hedberg stopped 37 of 41 shots for the win.
The Devils enter tonight on a three-game win streak. They defeated the New York Islanders, 2-1, last night at Nassau Coliseum. Down 1-0 with two minutes left in regulation, New Jersey struck twice in 14 seconds to grab the win. David Clarkson scored the game-tying goal, and new Devil Marek Zidlicky scored the game-winner. Anders Nilsson stopped 33 of 35 shots in the loss. Hedberg stopped 24 shots.
The Flyers enter tonight winners of their last six games. They stretched the win streak with a 1-0 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night. The two teams played scoreless during regulation and overtime, and entered the skills competition tied 0-0. Claude Giroux scored the game-winning shootout goal, beating Jonas Gustavvsson in the second round.