No team is happier to see the New Jersey Devils move into a new arena than the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers look to win in New Jersey for the first time in almost four years Thursday night when they conclude an eight-game road trip with a visit to the new Prudential Center.
Although the Flyers and Devils have developed quite a rivalry in recent years, it has been very one-sided when Philadelphia is the road team.
The Flyers were 0-6-2 in their last eight visits to the Meadowlands, getting outscored 26-9. They had only five wins in 28 games there since the start of the 1996-97 season, with the most recent victory coming on March 9, 2004.
Philadelphia (9-5-0) was 1-4-3 overall last season against New Jersey.
Martin Biron made 26 saves and Joffrey Lupul and Jeff Carter scored on two of Philadelphia's first three shots Wednesday in a 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh.
"We got off to a good start, that's something we talked about," said center Daniel Briere, whose club has scored the first goal seven times this season and is undefeated when it does. "We haven't gotten off to good starts."
The retooled Flyers beat the Penguins in their first try this season after losing all eight meetings in 2006-07. They improved to 3-1-0 against the Atlantic Division.
"With so many new faces, we didn't think it would be the same," said defenseman Jason Smith. "There weren't a lot of guys who were here last year, but we wanted to put that behind us. It's a new season and a fresh start."
No player has meant more to the Flyers this season than Biron, who appeared in 16 games with them last season after coming over in a trade with Buffalo. He is 8-4-0 with two shutouts and a 2.01 goals-against average. He stopped 38 shots in the Flyers' 4-0 victory over the visiting Devils on Oct. 18.
Biron likely will start games on back-to-back nights for the first time this season unless coach John Stevens decides to go with backup Antero Niittymaki, who is 0-3-3 with a 3.37 GAA in his last six starts against New Jersey.
After opening the season with nine straight road games, the Devils (5-7-2) have split their first four contests at the Prudential Center.
A weak offense was the problem again for New Jersey in a 5-0 home loss Monday to Pittsburgh. The Devils have already been shut out four times this season - double their total from all of 2006-07.
"I'm not going to sugar coat it," first-year coach Brent Sutter said. "Our commitment tonight was unacceptable. This was a big divisional game. To come to the rink like that doesn't cut it. I am surprised, to be quite honest."
The loss dropped New Jersey to 1-3-2 against the Atlantic after it was 23-6-5 last season.
Even future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur isn't immune to some of the blame. He allowed five goals on 24 shots Monday before he was replaced by Kevin Weekes 3:28 into the third period.
Brodeur is 4-7-1 with a 2.98 GAA that ranks 28th in the NHL. Brodeur, though, is 10-1-1 with a 2.29 GAA in his last 12 starts against the Flyers.
An unproductive power play has also contributed to the Devils' woes. They are 2-for-33 with the man advantage in the last eight games.