The Flyers are 34-33 all-time and 3-1 against the Devils in Game 3s. The Flyers are going to have to go back to work on the power play tonight against the Devils to give themselves a chance. They scored 12 power play goals against the Penguins in 23 opportunities but are only 1-for-11 this round against the Devils despite the fact the Devils allowed nine power play goals in 27 opportunities in the first round against the Panthers. The Devils seem to be getting their swagger back that allowed their penalty kill to set a modern day record by killing off 89.6% of power plays in the regular season. The Flyers are going to rely on the “G” line of Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr, and Scott Hartnell tonight as they head into the Prudential Center. The G line registered just four shots, no points, and each player was -1 in Tuesday night’s loss.
Keeping with the pattern throughout the playoffs for the Flyers, the team that scored the first goal lost. In the Flyers eight playoff games, the team that scored first is 1-7 with the only victory coming in the Flyers Game 6 clincher at home vs. Pittsburgh. Danny Briere is going to play a key role for the Flyers tonight. He is tied with teammate Giroux for the NHL lead in goals (7) in the playoffs and has three goals in his last three games but has seemingly fallen asleep at times on defense. The Flyers are going to need to play with desperation and have all five guys on the ice playing defense.
Ilya Bryzgalov played a stellar game on Tuesday but the defense (both defensemen and forwards) did not back him up. Bryzgalov made 31 saves on 34 shots and really did not stand a chance on a number of the goals. The Flyers need to play better defense and, in keeping with the theme from the first round, keep playing solid offensive hockey. The Flyers did not register a shot on goal in the second period until there was only 1:27 left in the period. The Flyers were outshot 12-2 in the second period and 35-20 in the game. The Flyers need to continue their offensive assault if they want to be successful tonight.
As for the Devils, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac have carried the team when they needed it and Martin Brodeur has answered the call for them in the first two games of the series. Parise registered a goal and an assist in Sunday’s overtime loss and added another assist in Tuesday’s 4-1 win. Zajac has a goal in each of the first two games and his goal in Game 2 put the Devils up 3-1 and seemingly broke the Flyers’ back. Zajac has five goals in the playoffs for the Devils, including the Game 6 overtime winner against the Panthers that forced a Game 7 that the Devils would ultimately win in double overtime.
The Devils 4-1 win on Tuesday was the first time they have won in the playoffs when trailing after two periods since April 26, 2003 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, who played in his first NHL playoff game Tuesday, scored the game tying goal for his first NHL playoff point. He might need to keep up his offensive presence as forward Ilya Kovalchuk is still listed as day-to-day on the injury report and his status for tonight’s game is still unknown.
Puck drop is slated for 7:40 pm. The game can be seen on the NBC Sports Network and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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