Flyers-Devils preview: Philly begins tough set of back-to-back games

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Flyers center Sean Couturier celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Devils (24-12-8) at Flyers (21-16-8)

WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Wells Fargo Center.

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

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

KEY PLAYERS: The Flyers, winners of five of their last six, will try to defeat New Jersey for the second straight Saturday. A week ago, they whipped the Devils, in Newark, 5-3, as Sean Couturier had a pair of goals and an assist.

Left winger Taylor Hall leads the Devils in goals (17) and points (47); he is a big part of a power play that went into Friday seventh in the NHL, clicking at 21.6 percent.

The Devils, who have followed a six-game losing streak with wins in their last two games, are seventh in scoring (3.14 goals per game) and 20th in goals-against (2.95). They are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over Washington.

New Jersey will use backup goalie Keith Kinkaid (7-3-2, 3.09 GAA, .898 save percentage) on Saturday.

Corey Schneider allowed five goals on 25 shots in the loss to the Flyers last week.

This is the second meeting between the top two players in last June’s draft: the Devils’ Nico Hischier (8 goals, 20 assists) and the Flyers’ Nolan Patrick (3 goals, 6 assists).

Michal Nuevirth (4-5-1, 2.35 GAA, .924 save percentage) is expected to get the call for the Flyers, which would give him back-to-back starts for the first time since Nov. 2 and 4.

Couturier has been sizzling, scoring 11 goals in his last 12 games. The top-line center has 26 goals — 11 more than his previous career best.

In addition to Couturier, Wayne Simmonds (16) and Claude Giroux (14) are double-figure goal scorers for the Flyers. Jake Voracek has a league-best 45 assists.

The Flyers have the league’s No. 9 power play (21.1 percent) and are 29th on the penalty kill (74.8 percent). They are in the middle of the pack in goals scored per game (2.93) and goals allowed (2.87).

The Flyers will also play an afternoon game Sunday, facing host Washington, the Metropolitan Division leader. New Jersey is in second place.

THINGS TO KNOW:  Ivan Provorov leads the Flyers with an average of 24:40 of ice time per game…The Flyers are No. 2 in the NHL in faceoff percentage (52.8 percent) while the Devils are 29th (47.3 percent)….Voracek, Giroux, and Provorov each had two assists in the Flyers’ win over the Devils last week, and Hall had a pair of helpers for New Jersey. In that game, the Flyers were 2 for 2 on the power play, and New Jersey was 2 for 7.

HEAD TO HEAD:

The Flyers lead the overall series, 112-97-18-12.

COMING FLYERS GAMES:

Sunday: 12:30 p.m. at Washington.

Tuesday: 7:30 p.m. at Detroit.

Thursday: 7 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay.