DEVILS at FLYERS
(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)
Big Story --
The best-of-seven series now switches to Wachovia Center in Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday. The Flyers won all three regular-season meetings in Philadelphia by a combined 11-5 score, including a 5-1 decision on March 28. Simon Gagne and Ville Leino each had a goal and an assist, and Brian Boucher turned aside 21 shots in that contest.
New Jersey scored shorthanded and connected for its first power-play goal of the series in their 5-3, Game 2 win on Friday while receiving big contributions from high-profile performers in Zach Parise
(1 goals, 2 points), Patrik Elias
(3 assists), Ilya Kovalchuk
(1 goal, 3 points) and Martin Brodeur
(26 saves) en route to a 5-3 triumph. The victory was Kovalchuk's first in six career playoff games, including four with the Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalchuk already has more points through two games of this series than he did in the New York Rangers' four-game sweep of Atlanta in 2007 (2 points).
The Flyers actually exhibited an all-around better offensive game in their loss in Game 2 on Friday than they did in Game 1. Despite totaling 15 more shots at Brodeur in Game 2, the Flyers connected on only 2 of 7 power-play opportunities. Claude Giroux
had his best game of the series, producing 1 goal and 1 assist in 15:37 of ice time. Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger
, who scored his second goal of the series, logged a game-high 27:26 of ice time. Boucher made 28 saves. After sitting out as a healthy scratch in Game 1, defenseman Ryan Parent was back in the lineup for Game 2 in place of Lucas Krajicek. Parent was on the ice for the Devils' game-winning goal with less than five minutes left in the third period.
Who's Hot --
Brodeur played in his 178th career playoff game on Friday in Game 2 and recorded his 99th win. He needs just one more to become only the second goaltender in League history to accumulate 100 playoff victories. Patrick Roy is the all-time leader with 151.
Injury Report --
The Flyers are without goalies Michael Leighton
(high ankle sprain) and Ray Emery (bone graft surgery). … New Jersey forward Vladimir Zharkov
is nursing a sore back.
Stat Pack --
Flyers rookie forward James van Riemsdyk
logged 11:52 of ice time in Game 2, including 1:54 on the power play, after playing just 5:29 in Game 1.
"This time of the year it's not really about personal statistics, it's about the team winning," he said. "It doesn't matter who goes out there and scores the goals or who makes the saves, as long as we win. I'm sure everyone else in here will put the team in front of their own personal statistics."
Puck Drop --
"I've played against Philly in two other tough playoff series and I expect nothing to change this time around," Devils defenseman Colin White said. "They are a physical team and hard-working, and we know that. We have to go at them and be prepared to do whatever it takes. It's going to be a tight series. We knew that all along."