Apr 18, 2013, 8:04 AM EDT
NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.
Just under a year ago, the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils battled in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with the Devils winning that series in five games.
Barring a miracle, neither team will make the playoffs in 2013, so this will almost certainly be their final opportunity to face each other before the summer.
The Devils have dominated the season series, winning three games over the Flyers before narrowing losing a shootout to Philadelphia on March 15.
Those games against Philadelphia must seem so long ago in New Jersey. At the time, they looked like a good bet to make the playoffs. Then Ilya Kovalchuk suffered a shoulder injury and they haven’t won since.
That’s 10 straight defeats for the Devils. To make matters worse, they have played 120:37 minutes without scoring a single goal.
“Absurd is a good word for it,” DeBoer said after a 2-0 loss to Toronto on Monday. “I don’t have an answer. I know the guys are emptying the tank.”
Kovalchuk won’t be able to come back and save them tonight. He might not return at all this season.
“I don’t know. I’m taking this day to day, literally,” coach Pete DeBoer told the Star-Ledger. “I’m not looking beyond. He’s not ready for Philly. Let’s look at Florida (Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center).”
With or without him, the Devils need this win. Not for the sake of keeping their bleak playoff hopes alive, just to simply put themselves in a position where maybe they can enter the summer with some kind of silver lining.
The Flyers likely want the same thing. They’ve won their last two games and while their chances of advancing to the postseason are equally bleak, they still have their pride. So these teams will fight and hope that 2013-14 will go differently.
New Jersey – Forwards: Kovalchuk Defensemen: Bryce Salvador (wrist)
Philadelphia – Forwards: Zac Rinaldo (ankle), Maxime Talbot (leg), Jody Shelley (hip), Ruslan Fedotenko (upper body) Defensemen: Bruno Gervais (stomach), Kent Huskins (concussion), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Braydon Coburn (shoulder), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Chris Pronger (concussion)
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- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 42
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)