The New Jersey Devils, surprising Atlantic Division leaders, will try to continue their dominance of the Flyers when they meet Friday night in Newark.
Martin Brodeur (6-2-2, .908, 2.36), who has an NHL-record 120 career shutouts, will be in goal for New Jersey and will face Ilya Bryzglaov (6-6-1, 2.49, .913). Brodeur blanked the Flyers last month, 3-0. In his career, he has shut out the Flyers 10 times, which equals his high against any team.
New Jersey whipped the Flyers in five second-round playoff games last year.
Second-year center Sean Couturier will return to the Flyers’ lineup after missing two games with the flu.
The Devils (8-2-3) are 5-1-1 at home, while the Flyers (6-7-1) are 2-6 on the road.
This is the third stop on a season-high, six-game road trip for the Flyers. They began the trip with a clunker, a 5-2 loss in Toronto, before rebounding and defeating Winnipeg, 3-2.
New Jersey re-acquired left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky from Winnipeg on Wednesday and he will face the Flyers. He will replace former Flyer Dainius Zubrus, who had wrist surgery Thursday and will miss at least a month.
Ponikarovsky’s overtime goal gave New Jersey to a 4-3 victory over the Flyers in Game 3 of last year’s conference semifinals. At Friday’s morning skate, he was on the Devils’ top line, with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Flyers’ trip also includes games in Montreal, New York (Islanders) and Pittsburgh. They play 12 of their first 18 games on the road.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.