Get your game notes: Flyers at Devils

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New Jersey Devils hosting the Philadelphia Flyers starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• On Oct. 18, the Devils (0-4-3, 3 pts.) and Flyers (1-7-0, 2 pts.) sat in the bottom two spots in the Eastern Conference; since that date, only three teams in the conference have earned more points than the Flyers.

Since Oct. 18 W-L-OTL Pts.
Penguins 25-11-1 51
Bruins 24-10-2 50
Canadiens 20-12-5 45
Flyers 20-10-4 44

• Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, the NHL’s all-time career leader in wins with 681, will seek his 50th career victory over the Flyers tonight (49-31-9 record). There are 32 instances in NHL history of a goalie having at least 50 wins against a single opponent, including one by Brodeur, who has a 50-28-8 record against the Islanders. (Elias Sports Bureau)

• Only four NHL players have scored more career goals on Martin Brodeur than Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier (15 goals in 43 games), including Brodeur’s teammate, Jaromir Jagr (18 in 65).

19 – Simon Gagne (18 with Philadelphia)
18 – Jagr (0 with Philadelphia), Mike Knuble (13 with Philadelphia)
16 – Eric Lindros (13 with Philadelphia)
15 – Lecavalier (0 with Philadelphia), Alex Kovalev, Martin St. Louis

The only active goalies on whom Lecavalier has scored more goals are Buffalo’s Ryan Miller (16 in 25 games) and Carolina’s Cam Ward (16 in 35). (Elias Sports Bureau)

• After scoring three or more goals in only one of their first 15 games this season, the Flyers have scored 3+ in nine of their last 10 (since Dec. 15). Their 37 goals over that 10-game span are the third-most in the NHL, trailing only St. Louis (39) and Anaheim (38).

• Flyers winger Scott Hartnell enters tonight on a seven-game point streak (3-5=8 points), tied for his career high. Hartnell has faced the Devils more times (45) than any other NHL team in his career, but his 19 points (10-9=19) against New Jersey rank only T-10th.

• The Flyers are tops in the NHL in both penalty minutes for (679) and against (628), while the Devils are 30th in both categories (341 /319). The 1,307 total penalty minutes in 42 Flyers games is almost double (647 minutes) the 660 total minutes charged in 43 Devils games.

• Tonight, the Flyers and Oilers can make NHL history in Newark and St. Louis, respectively. The last three Flyers-Devils and Oilers-Blues meetings have all ended in shutouts by the road team. (See PHI-NJ details below.) No two teams have ever combined to post four straight road shutouts. (Elias Sports Bureau)

April 18, 2013: New Jersey 3, at Philadelphia 0 (Brodeur: 23 saves)
November 2, 2013: Philadelphia 1, at New Jersey 0 (Emery: 14 saves)
November 7, 2013: New Jersey 3, at Philadelphia 0 (Brodeur: 22 saves)

Sheary’s agent — who’s also Dumoulin’s agent — hoping to avoid arbitration

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Conor Sheary‘s agent is hopeful that an arbitration hearing won’t be needed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And that same agent has reason to be optimistic, since he’s also the agent for Brian Dumoulin, who settled at the last minute today.

“Each (case) is so different,” Andrew Gross told the Post-Gazette this morning. “Ultimately, though, team and player would like to avoid going in that room. It’s not a pleasant experience.”

Sheary’s hearing isn’t scheduled until Aug. 4. The 25-year-old forward is coming off a 53-point regular season. In his young NHL career, he’s already won two Stanley Cups.

That said, the Penguins can’t afford to break the bank on an extension. After all, a big reason for their success has been having players like Sheary on affordable deals — a necessity with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang taking up so much cap space.

Sheary wasn’t all that productive in the 2017 playoffs either, scoring just two goals with five assists in 22 games, while finishing a team-worst minus-5 for the postseason.

“We’re prepared to go to arbitration,” Pens GM Jim Rutherford said last week.

Of course, Rutherford was also speaking about Dumoulin, and the two sides were able to reach an agreement on him.

You can probably expect a similar outcome with Sheary.

Just don’t bet the house on it.

Preds avoid arbitration with Austin Watson

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Another narrowly avoided arbitration to pass along.

The Nashville Predators have signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year, $3.3 million contract that will pay him $1 million next season, $1.1 million in 2018-19 and $1.2 million in 2019-20.

Watson’s hearing was scheduled for today.

From the press release:

Watson, 25 (1/13/92), set career highs in goals (5), assists (7), points (12), penalty minutes (99) and games played (77) during the 2016-17 season as he established himself as an integral member of the Nashville roster. The 6-foot-4, 204-pound winger then added four goals and nine points in 22 postseason contests as the Predators advanced to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Watson also appeared in 57 games for the Predators during the 2015-16 season, recording three goals and 10 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins also avoided an arbitration hearing today by signing defenseman Brian Dumoulin to a six-year contract.

Spooner seeking $3.85 million in arbitration

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Ryan Spooner‘s arbitration hearing with the Boston Bruins is scheduled for Wednesday. And if it goes ahead, it could be a rather contentious one.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Spooner is seeking $3.85 million on a one-year deal, while the B’s are thinking almost half that at $2 million.

Spooner, a 25-year-old forward, will certainly be able to sell his offensive statistics. He had 49 points in 2015-16, then 39 points last season.

“Ryan’s a talented player,” said GM Don Sweeney, per CSNNE.com. “He’s had a lot of success. Our power play is better when he plays as well as he’s capable of playing, and he can really be a good complement to our group.”

But the knock on Spooner has always been his defensive play. The past two seasons, he’s a combined minus-17. Back in May, it was reported that the B’s were entertaining trade offers for him.

Spooner’s last contract paid him $1.9 million over two years.

Dumoulin agrees to six-year contract with Penguins

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Brian Dumoulin won’t need his arbitration hearing today.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced this morning that the 25-year-old defenseman has agreed to terms on a six-year contract with a $4.1 million cap hit.

From the press release:

Dumoulin, 25, has been a key component to the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, as he played in all 49 playoff games in that span, and recorded 14 points (3G-11A). In the 2017 playoffs, Dumoulin had an average ice time of 21:59 minutes, the most of any Penguins skater, and his plus-9 paced all team defenders. He assisted on Carl Hagelin‘s empty-net goal that sealed the 2-0 victory in the decisive Game 6 of the Cup Final against Nashville. 

Dumoulin is coming off of a contract that paid him just $800,000 in each of the past two seasons.

With Dumoulin signed, Pittsburgh now has five defenseman under contract for at least the next three seasons, the other four being Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, Olli Maatta, and Matt Hunwick.

The Pens still have one more arbitration case in forward Conor Sheary. His hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.

Related: Without Letang, the ‘simple bunch’ gets it done for Penguins