FLYERS at DEVILS
(Philadelphia leads best-of-seven series, 1-0)
Big Story --
The Devils finished 15 points better than the Flyers in the regular season to earn home-ice advantage for this series. But that all went by the wayside on Wednesday following Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as the Flyers scored a 2-1 victory at Prudential Center to take a 1-0 series lead and the home-ice edge. The victory was the sixth in seven games for the Flyers against the Devils this season.
The Flyers survived a sluggish first period thanks to the play of goalie Brian Boucher, who made nine of his 23 saves in the opening 20 minutes to keep the game scoreless. His best stop came at the 7:52 mark when he stoned Ilya Kovalchuk
with a glove save off a blistering shot from between the hash marks. Chris Pronger
and Mike Richards scored second-period goals and the Flyers killed all five New Jersey power-plays to gain the victory.
New Jersey only generated four shots on five power-play opportunities in Game 1 on Wednesday. Travis Zajac
ended Boucher's shutout bid when he scored an even-strength goal off a shot from the right point. Martin Brodeur
had just 12 saves as the Devils limited the Flyers to just 14 total shots, including two in the third period.
"We've got to shoot the puck more (on the power play)," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "We missed some opportunities to take shots and were trying to make the perfect play. They do a good job of pressuring and keeping you to the outside and we have to put pucks at the net and work from there."
Who's Hot --
Boucher has won four of his last five starts, including one shutout, and has produced a 1.80 goals-against average and .932 save percentage over that span.
Injury Report --
The Flyers are without goalies Michael Leighton
(high ankle sprain) and Ray Emery (bone graft surgery). New Jersey forward Andrew Peters, out since March 25 with a scratched eye, is doubtful.
Stat Pack --
Pronger had 30:01 in ice time in Game 1, the most among players in all games on Wednesday -- Detroit's Brian Rafalski was second (29:06). Pronger's goal was his first against Brodeur since Dec. 2, 1997, when he starred on the blue line in St. Louis.
Puck Drop --
"We didn't capitalize on the scoring chances we got (on Wednesday)," Devils forward Zach Parise
said. "We've got to bear down. We had some good plays and good chances and we knew it was going to be a tough series against them and it is. It's not going to be easy."