New Jersey Devils (4-5-1) @ Philadelphia Flyers (7-4-1)
7:00 PM EDT
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM
This marks the second of six games between the two clubs this season. The Flyers and Devils last played on October 8 which was the Devils home opener, which saw the Flyers ruin the night by shutting out the Devils, 3-0.
Last Game Recap:
Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs saw a lot of back and forth action. The Leafs would score, and then the Devils would tie it up. Unfortunately, Joffrey Lupul would lead the Leafs with a hat trick in the second period, giving them the 5-3 win.
The big story of the game was the return of Martin Brodeur in goal. Brodeur had missed nearly three weeks while recovering from a sore shoulder. It is no lie that Brodeur appeared to be rusty in his return, but did produce a highlight reel save on Leafs forward Phil Kessel. The save was almost the same move that Brodeur injured his shoulder on. Afterwards, Brodeur said his shoulder felt fine.
Elias sets Devils Record:
With his 93rd career powerplay goal on Wednesday night, Patrik Elias passed John MacLean and is now the franchise record holder for most powerplay goals. When asked about breaking the record, Elias told the media that it’s “not important at all if it happens in a loss.”
Not only was that goal Elias’ 93rd career powerplay goal, it also saw Adam Larsson’s first career NHL point. Larsson got the primary assist as he fed the puck beautifully to Elias.
Elias felt bad for not collecting the puck for Larsson as a souvenir. Here’s a picture of the puck.
Against the Flyers:
All-time the Devils are 87-70-18-0 in 54 games played against the Philadelphia Flyers
When playing in Philadelphia, the Devils are 32-45-11-0 against the Flyers.
Patrik Elias is the residential Flyer killer, with 70 points (32 goals, 38 assists) in 70 career games.
Projected Devils Lineup:
Kovalchuk – Parise – Sykora
Elias – Zubrus – Clarkson
Tedenby – Henrique – Palmieri
Mills – Carter – Janssen
Greene – Larsson
Tallinder – Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador
Ilya Bryzgalov was signed to be the Flyers number one goaltender. But things seemed iffy for the Flyers between the pipes when both Bryzgalov and backup Sergei Bobrovsky gave up a combined nine goals against the Winnipeg Jets. After that, Bryzgalov told the media he had “lost his way.”
The Flyers even announced on Monday morning that Bryzgalov was not going to talk to the media except in postgame (only if he played). However, the club is informed that it violated the league’s media policy and soon the media ban was lifted. Goalies can continue to talk to the media on a daily basis, but they will have a time limit.
All seems to be right with the number one right now as he has only allowed three goals in back-to-back wins.
Look out for Scott Hartnell, who has scored five goals in five games, and has collected 10 points in that span.
Projected Flyers Lineup:
Hartnell – Giroux – Jagr
van Riemsdyk – Couturier – Voracek
Simmonds – Talbot – Nodl
Rinaldo – Holmstrom – Shelley
Timonen – Coburn
Lilja – Meszaros
Gustafsson – Carle
Six long, long months have passed since the New Jersey Devils stepped onto the ice at Prudential Center. A lot has changed over summer. New coach, new players joining the squad, former players re-joining the squad, and a new captain.
October 8, 2011: Game One.
The New Jersey Devils will begin regular season play as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center in Newark. The Devils will hope to rid horrid thoughts of a dismal start of a season last year, only to become the best team in the NHL when it was too late. A season in which their new captain, Zach Parise, didn’t get much of a chance.
Parise was sidelined for most of the 2010-2011 season due to knee surgery, but after being resigned to a one-year deal in the offseason, and being named the ninth captain in New Jersey Devils history, Parise is ready to bounce back.
New faces joined the club out of training camp, including Eric Boulton, Brad Mills, Adam Henrique and the fourth overall draft pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Adam Larsson. Fans are excited to see what Larsson, who was called the most NHL ready out of any in the draft, has to offer. If pre-season was any indication, it’s going to be exciting to see Larsson and Kovalchuk sharing the points on the powerplay.
One of the biggest surprises going into this season is the return of Petr Sykora. Now wearing number 15 as opposed to his old 17, Sykora opened eyes and showed that he still has it. He re-gained chemistry with old linemate Patrik Elias, and have now formed what some are calling “A-Line 2.0″ with Zach Parise.
The first game of this season, the Devils will get a look at a new Flyers team. The Flyers shipped out sniper Jeff Carter and Captain Mike Richards in order to sign a number one goaltender. They signed Ilya Bryzgalov who showed he is the real deal as he stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Flyers victory over defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins, on Thursday night.
The big story for the Flyers is seeing if Jaromir Jagr was a good sign. So far, he seems to be creating chemistry with linemate Claude Giroux, even netting his 1,600th career NHL point in Thursday’s contest.
This will be a fun contest to watch these two energetic, fast-paced teams. The Devils need to get off to a great start and plan to do so behind Martin Brodeur who is making his 16th season opener appearance with the Devils.
We would love to hear what you think about the Devils going into this season. Leave a comment below telling us what you’re looking forward to most this season, who’s going to have a breakout year, or just your prediction for the game tonight.