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2/8 -- Devils Game Preview

By: Brian Deakyne



New Jersey Devils (36-19-2) at Philadelphia Flyers (28-25-3)



Previous Meetings: The Devils and Flyers have faced off three times this season. On October 3rd, the Flyers beat the Devils 5-2 at the Prudential Center, with Matt Carle leading Philly with a goal and an assist. Later, on November 16th, it was New Jersey-native James Van Riemsdyk burying the Devils as he scored the game winning goal in a 3-2 Philadelphia win. In the most recent meeting, in New Jersey on December 16th, Patrik Elias scored twice including his 300th career goals to push the Devils past the Flyers 4-1.


How They've Fared: Devils: New Jersey still isn't playing the way they would hope in early February after signing one of the best scorers in the National Hockey League. In two games with New Jersey, Ilya Kovalchuk has tallied just one assist as the Devils are clinging on to a two-point lead in the Atlantic Division over Pittsburgh. In their last ten games, the Devils are a modest 4-5-1 but will look to improve on the scoring as they averaged exactly two goals per game.


How They've Fared: Flyers: Philadelphia has played mediocre hockey all season, especially as of late splitting their last ten games--and it shows in the standings. There is a sense of urgency at the Wachovia Center these days, as the Flyers are hanging in the playoff race by the skin of their teeth, as they sit in the eighth and final playoff spot. From this point on, every point will count for the Flyers and games against division rivals are important.

Who to Watch: Devils: The last two games, every eye in the building have focused on Ilya Kovalchuk. Tonight, they will be more than ever. Playing in part of the Devils-Flyers fierce rivalry for the first time, Kovalchuk has to step up as a goal scorer to give the Devils and edge they have needed for the longest time.

Who to Watch: Flyers: For Philadelphia, the top to centermen are the men to watch tonight: Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. These two players each have 22 goals, accounting for most of the Flyers' goals, and it will be tougher than ever tonight against Martin Brodeur, who says his favorite place to play is Philadelphia.

Bottom Line: Like most opponents, the Devils are facing a team that needs this much more than they do--but it doesn't mean they don't need it. New Jersey needs to get Kovalchuk on the score sheet, and there's no place better to do it than Philadelphia. For the Flyers, this is almost a must-win, as several teams are down there back for that high;y coveted eighth spot in the division. Expect emotions to run high tonight at the Wachovia Center

2 comments:

  1. Whenever I read a sports blog, I get the feeling that the writer is intentionally trying to start an argument. or worse yet, I feel like the writer dosent know what he is talking about. Your blog, however seems to be to the point, factual and interesting. Well done...

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  2. Interesting and i guess this season will be more as new players on each team,new strategies a lot of new things that might happen.For the Jersey Devils against Philadelphia Flyers,mark the date on September 28, Tuesday 7:00 PM at Prudential Center in Newark New jersey to be exact.

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