Flyers-Devils preview: Alex Lyon expected to start as Philly looks to tighten its defense

FLYRGLANCE01
Winger Travis Konecny skating after the puck against Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen in the Flyers’ 3-1 win on Jan. 20.

Flyers (24-18-8) at Devils (25-16-8)

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday.

WHERE: Prudential Center.

BROADCAST & STREAMING: NBCSP, NBCSports.com/live, 97.5 FM

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: @BroadStBull and @samdonnellon on Twitter.

KEY PLAYERS: The Flyers have allowed five goals in each of their last two games — losses to Tampa Bay and Washington — and are trying to get back on track.

A regulation win would give the Flyers the same number of points (58) as the Devils, who are third in the Metropolitan Division.

Taylor Hall, who missed the previous three games with an injured thumb, scored a goal as the Devils snapped a four-game losing streak and outlasted host Buffalo, 3-1, on Tuesday. Goalie Keith Kinkaid also returned from an injury and keyed the win. Hall (18 goals, 49 points) has points in his last eight games.

Containing the Devils’ top line of Hall, Nico Hischier (30 points) and Jesper Bratt (31) will be one of the keys for the Flyers, who are coming off Wednesday’s 5-3 loss in Washington.

Goalie Alex Lyon, who replaced Michal Neuvirth midway through the third period Wednesday and made his NHL debut, is expected to get his first start. Lyon stopped all five shots he faced Wednesday. Neuvirth, who battled a stomach virus earlier in the week, said he felt ill during the game.

It will be interesting to see if coach Dave Hakstol replaces struggling defenseman Brandon Manning with Mark Alt.

Claude Giroux (57 points), Jake Voracek (57) and Sean Couturier (50) are the Flyers’ top producers. Speedy second-year winger Travis Konecny has a goal in each of the last five games and 11 overall, equaling his total in his rookie season.

THINGS TO KNOW:  Devils goalie Cory Schneider has been battling a groin injury, so Kinkaid is expected to start. … Konecny is the first Flyer to have a five-game goal-scoring streak since Wayne Simmonds in March/April 2012. … The Flyers have allowed three second-period goals in each of their last two games. … Lyon became the 55th goalie to appear in a game in Flyers history.

HEAD TO HEAD: The Flyers lead the overall series, 113-97-18-12. They have won both games against the Devils this season, scoring 5-3 and 3-1 victories.

COMING FLYERS GAMES:

Saturday: 1 p.m. vs. Ottawa.

Tuesday: 7 p.m. at Carolina.

Next Thursday: 7 p.m. vs. Montreal.