Game 70 Preview: Your New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers
New Jersey Devils (40-24-5, 85 points) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (39-22-7, 85 points)
7:00 pm EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
Tonight marks the sixth, and last, game between the division rivals this season. Currently, the Devils have the series lead with three wins, after dropping their home opener to Philadelphia, in a shutout.
Brodeur Records Win Number 650:
The New Jersey Devils played their heart out on Sunday night in the first game of a home-and-home series with the Flyers. There was a little bit of motivation behind this win: the players wanted to get goaltender Martin Brodeur career win number 650. With beautiful backhand feeds from Elias to Clarkson and back to Elias, Elias scored his 24th goal of the season in the closing seconds of the first period, on yet another successful powerplay conversion.
The game would stay a one goal game until the opening seconds of the third period, when the Flyers would tie the game. Fortunately for the Devils, this was the last threat the Flyers would have. The Devils played a full-team game in the third period, especially in their go ahead goal from Anton Volchenkov. A 2-on-1 in the Flyers zone with Kovalchuk and Volchenkov leading the way, everyone thought Kovalchuk would shoot, but instead he passes to Volchenkov who buries what woud be the eventual game winning goal. This play caught everyone by surprise as it shows how much Kovalchuk’s game has matured as he now focuses on an all-around game as opposed to a shoot first mentality. Kovalchuk has now collected seven points in his last three games, which has moved him into fifth in points, 71, throughout the league.
Brodeur’s win was also his 25th of the season, the 15th time in his career he has won at least 25 games in a season. If Brodeur collects the win tonight in Philadelphia, he will have 100 more wins than Patrick Roy, who sits second all-time with 551 wins.
Devils Projected Lineup:
Parise – Henrique – Kovalchuk
Sykora – Elias – Zubrus
Ponikarovsky – Josefson – Clarkson
Boulton – Carter – Bernier
Greene – Fayne
Volchenkov – Larsson
Salvador – Zidlicky
The Latest on the Flyers:
It’s funny to think that the team who leads the league in goals-per-game with 3.19 can be struggling on offense. It’s true, however, as the Flyers have only scored 20 goals in their last nine games, 2.22 GPG. The sad thing about this stat is 11 of those 20 goals came in two games and nine goals in the other seven games. The Flyers have been held to one goal or fewer in five of their last nine.
Still, this is not a team to be taken lightly. The first offensive line of Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr are a deadly force. Jagr set up Giroux for Philly’s only goal of the game on Sunday. Giroux, like Kovalchuk, is on a hot streak of his own collecting five points in the last four games. Giroux enters tonight third in the league in scoring, only four points behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.
Projected Flyers Lineup:
Hartnell – Giroux – Jagr
Wellwood – Briere – Voracek
Read – Schenn – Simmonds
Talbot – Couturier – Rinaldo
Timonen – Carle
Coburn – Grossman
Lilja – Gustafsson
Posted on March 13, 2012, in Game Preview, New Jersey Devils and tagged David Clarkson, giroux, hartnell, Ilya Kovalchuk, jagr, malkin, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, NHL, patrick roy, Patrik Elias, Philadelphia Flyers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.