Five things to know today about the Flyers (32-29-8 ) as they play in Newark on Thursday night against the lowly New Jersey Devils (25-31-12):
- If the Flyers are to have any hope in the playoff race, they need to sweep their three remaining games against the Devils, the Eastern Conference’s worst team. That won’t be easy because the Flyers -- who are five points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining -- are 0-2 against the Devils and have been outscored, 8-1.
- Rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov, arguably the Flyers’ second-best player this season (behind Wayne Simmonds), played a staggering 27:17, a career high, in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Penguins. He had an assist and blocked five shots.
- The Devils have lost 10 straight games (0-8-2), including the last six in regulation, and are next to last in the NHL in goals per game (2.21) this season. They have one win in their last eight home games (1-6-1).
- New Jersey will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season, so it is inserting youth into its lineup. The Devils have recalled center John Quenneville, 20, from Albany in the AHL and he will play Thursday on a young line. Quenneville, New Jersey’s top pick in the 2014 draft and a second cousin of Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, had 41 points for Albany. He played two NHL games earlier in the season.
- Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid will start for the Devils. He is 6-8-2 with a 2.70 GAA and .915 save percentage. Michal Neuvirth is expected to start for the Flyers, but the fact that Steve Mason did not see a lot of work (23 saves) in Wednesday’s win over road-weary Pittsburgh makes him a possibility to play on back-to-back nights. Then again, he is 0-8 in his career vs. New Jersey.