NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 1st
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (46-21-10) at New Jersey Devils (35-36-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to use an important game
in hand to their advantage when they visit the rival New Jersey Devils
tonight at Prudential Center.
With 102 points, the Flyers enter today four ahead of Pittsburgh for the
Atlantic Division lead and just one point in front of Washington for the top
seed in the East. Philadelphia has five games remaining in the regular season
compared to four each for the Penguins and Capitals.
The Flyers came away empty-handed on Thursday evening, as the lost a 1-0
regulation decision to the visiting Atlanta Thrashers. Chris Mason stopped all
43 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and Nik Antropov
registered the lone goal for the Thrashers.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves in defeat for the Flyers, who couldn't sustain
the momentum from Tuesday's big road win in Pittsburgh and lost for the second
time in three games.
"You know I guess when it comes to our home building and our fans, you never
want to lose," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette after his team dropped
its seventh home game in their last eight. "Concern of the big picture,
probably not that much, but concern that we lost tonight. We needed two
points, our organization, our building, our fans; that's disappointing a
Laviolette could go with Brian Boucher in net this evening rather than start
the rookie Bobrovsky on consecutive nights. Boucher is 2-1-1 with a 1.48
goals-against average against New Jersey this season.
Philadelphia is playing three of its next four games on the road and has an
excellent 25-9-4 mark as the guest this season. The Flyers, who have won their
last three away tilts, have already set a franchise record for road victories
in a season.
The Devils, meanwhile, have just about run out of time in their postseason
push. New Jersey is 12 points out of a playoff spot in the East with just six
games left, leaving the Devils with no margin of error.
New Jersey last missed the postseason in the spring of 1996, giving the club
13 straight playoff appearances.
The Flyers have taken three out of five meetings with New Jersey this season
and six of eight overall. Philly has also won two of its last three tests at
The Devils were able to end a three-game slide in their last trip to the ice,
edging the visiting New York Islanders by a 3-2 score. Andy Greene scored the
go-ahead goal on a perfectly-placed wrist shot with 4:56 remaining in the
third period to lift New Jersey to the win.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Jacob Josefson also scored for the Devils, with Kovalchuk's
goal in the first period snapping a team-record scoreless streak dating back
over a week. The drought was halted at 178 minutes and 12 seconds.
Martin Brodeur made 27 saves as New Jersey improved to just 2-4-1 in its last
The Devils are playing the middle test of a three-game homestand tonight and
have a 19-15-3 record as the host this season. Jersey will close the residency
Saturday against Montreal.
New Jersey defensemen Anton Volchenkov is questionable for tonight's game with
a lower-body injury, while fellow blueliner Colin White is expected to miss
this evening's tilt.
04/01 10:54:07 ET