As for the Devils, they have a living legend between the pipes in Martin Brodeur. Brodeur had an up and down series. He was technically 4-2 in the series but he did not get the loss in Game 3 because he was pulled after giving a 3-0 lead right back to the Panthers as they quickly scored three goals to tie the game. Brodeur followed up that eventual loss by the Devils with a 4-0 shutout. In Game 7 Brodeur played like retro Brodeur by keeping the Devils in the game until they eventually won the game 3-2 in two overtimes. The Flyers proved in the first round that they can score goals, if Brodeur is the same guy he was in Game 7; it is going to be a chess match. If he is the guy he was in Game 3, it’s going to be a high scoring series.
The Devils defense has been good as they have only allowed 17 goals in the seven game series against the Panthers. Unfortunately their penalty kill, which ranked first in the NHL during the regular season, allowed eight goals on 26 opportunities. The only team that scored more on the power play in the first round was the Flyers who scored 12 goals on 23 opportunities. The Devils could be in trouble if they don’t tighten up their penalty kill. The Devils have always been a defensive team and their defense gets helped out by their forwards who back-check very well.
The Devils forwards scored all eighteen of their goals in their first round series. The Devils did not put up flashy offensive numbers but did just enough to win the series. Devils head coach Peter DeBoer shuffled his lines in practice yesterday. Instead of having his top offensive line of Parise, Elias, and Kovalchuk, DeBoer moved Kovalchuk down a line which will give their forwards more balance against the Flyers lines.
Overall, this is going to be a good series as both teams match up well against each other. Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette mentioned earlier this week that winning Game 7 does not necessarily mean momentum into the next round. The Flyers won Game 7 against the Buffalo Sabres last year in the first round and came out against the Boston bruins in the second round and lost four straight games. I think it will be a good series but I think the Flyers are playing better hockey at the moment. I want to say Flyers in five games and I think they could win the series in five but I am going to take the safer pick.
Prediction: Flyers in six
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports