Not too long ago, the Philadelphia Flyers were mired in a maddening 10-game losing streak.
Following a coaching change, a few tweaks to the lines and some players returning from injury, the Flyers are suddenly aiming for their third consecutive win when they host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
The Flyers won back-to-back games on the road over the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes Friday and Saturday.
“Obviously, the confidence isn’t at a high when you lose 10 in a row,” the Flyers’ Scott Laughton said. “To go into Vegas and to play a back-to-back here, legs aren’t probably the best. But you have to play a smart game, and guys did that.”
The Flyers won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 27-28.
James van Riemsdyk scored three times in the last two games after going 11 straight without a goal.
“I think he’ll get on a roll now,” Laughton said of van Riemsdyk. “He can score in bunches and it’s huge for our team to get him going.”
The Flyers scored twice on the power play against the Golden Knights and once against the Coyotes after struggling mightily with the extra skater for much of the season. The puck movement was crisper and the shots were more plentiful.
“I think we just have a mindset of attacking and we don’t need to waste time setting up all the time and trying to have perfect plays,” Philadelphia’s Travis Konecny said.
Now the Flyers will look to continue their positive momentum after dropping the first two meetings against the Devils this season.
New Jersey will hope to avoid a third consecutive loss. In their most recent game Saturday, the Devils fell 4-2 to the New York Islanders. Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes each scored one goal, but too many mistakes cost the scuffling Devils once again.
“Losing sucks, but we have to do it as a group. It’s tough,” the Devils’ P.K. Subban said. “The answers are in that locker room.”
This latest defeat was a rerun of recent losses.
“I thought throughout the night we skated well. Moved the puck well and skated well,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said. “That’s the type of third period you get in against a good team when you’re protecting the lead. They gave me almost everything they have.
“Until we start finishing some of our opportunities, we can rewind these press conferences and keep going back to them,” Ruff added.
The Devils played without captain Nico Hischier and Ryan Graves because of health of safety protocols. It’s unclear if those two key players will be available against the Flyers.
“They’re both important players. Every team has had to deal with this. We’re going to have to deal with it,” Ruff said. “We’ll find out where everything is at in the next couple of days. Again, we have to find players within our roster to pick up the slack and help us win hockey games.”
–Field Level Media