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Apr 12, 2024 12:47 pm

Flyers aim to keep faint playoff hopes alive vs. Devils

Philadelphia Flyers

Two days after allowing nine goals, the Philadelphia Flyers ended their ugly eight-game losing streak (0-6-2) and lived to see another day in the playoff chase for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia’s next chance at improving its position for the playoffs occurs Saturday when it hosts the New Jersey Devils.

The Flyers (37-32-11, 85 points) are one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card spot and share the same point total as the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh, Washington and Detroit have three games remaining and the Flyers have two, meaning the most points they can attain is 89.

Philadelphia still is alive because its performance in Thursday’s 4-1 win over the New York Rangers was markedly better than Tuesday’s 9-3 shellacking at Montreal. After being outscored 42-18 in the skid, the Flyers earned their first win since beating the Boston Bruins on March 23.

Bobby Brink scored the go-ahead goal 3:29 into the second period. Travis Konecny made a defensive play that led to his team-leading 32nd goal and also set up defenseman Cam York’s tally 4:21 into the opening period.

“We talked about how we’ve played this year — not as individuals, but winning games as a team,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “That was probably one of our better team games we’ve played in quite a while.

“It’s good it happens this way, as far as a team game. And we can lean on that for another couple of games here and see where we go.”

While the Flyers face the Devils ahead of their final home game Tuesday against Washington, the Capitals, Red Wings and Penguins also are in action on Saturday. Washington hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit visits the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh welcomes the Boston Bruins.

Although eliminated from postseason contention, New Jersey (38-37-5, 81 points) can impact the playoff race by beating the Flyers and the New York Islanders in its season finale Monday.

The Devils shut down Jack Hughes once they were officially eliminated and are 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

New Jersey is coming off a 6-5 win at Toronto after Jesper Bratt scored the go-ahead goal with 1:14 remaining in the third period.

“We really showed how strong of a team effort we can put in and come back in these really hard, emotional games,” Bratt said. “The game was a fast-paced game, a lot of things happening, a lot of teams coming back and there’s sometimes emotional roller coasters playing teams like this, and we stuck with it and came up with a huge win that we as a team should feel pretty good about.”

Bratt can feel good about his performance in an otherwise disappointing season for the Devils. He scored 32 goals last season and has 27 along with a career-best 82 points in 2023-24.

The Devils are 4-0-1 in the past five meetings and earned a 6-3 win at the Stadium Series in East Rutherford, N.J. on Feb. 17.

–Field Level Media

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