GAME: New Jersey Devils (28-14-10-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (28-12-11-5).
TIME: Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Philadelphia Flyers entered the All-Star break on a roll - even though
both of their primary goalies were out with injuries.
Now, with recently acquired Sean Burke in net, they'll look to keep that
momentum going as they begin their run toward the postseason against the
visiting New Jersey Devils.
The Flyers brought in Burke, a three-time All-Star, and forwards Branko
Radivojevic and Ben Eager on Monday in a trade that sent young center Mike
Comrie to the Phoenix Coyotes.
"Once you realize you've been traded, you get excited about going to
another team and helping that team however you can," Burke said. "These last
couple of days have been a little difficult, but now that it's officially
happened, I'm ready to get there and start contributing."
Burke, who played in 11 games for the Flyers in 1997, is 298-316-99 in 17
seasons, during which he's also played for New Jersey, Hartford-Carolina,
Vancouver and Florida.
The move for the 37-year-old netminder was necessary because No. 1 goalie
Robert Esche is expected to miss at least three weeks with a sprained left
knee, and Jeff Hackett, who had been out of the lineup since mid-January with
vertigo, announced his retirement on Monday.
Antero Niittymaki made the first two starts of his NHL career in place of
Esche before the All-Star break, winning both with a 1.00 goals-against
Despite their injury woes, the Flyers have lost just twice in their last 11
games (8-2-1) and entered the break atop the Eastern Conference with 72 points
- one more than Northeast Division-leading Toronto.
"I think everybody is pretty excited about how we're playing right now,"
coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I think there's a real excitement for what the last
run is going to be like here."
The Devils are coming off Thursday's 4-0 loss to Vancouver - just their
second defeat in seven games (5-2-0).
The defending Stanley Cup champs played so poorly in their final game before
the All-Star break that fans booed them off the ice in the second period.
"Until tonight we had been playing well for a while," acting captain Scott
Niedermayer said. "We knew (the Canucks) would come in hungry after losing the
last couple of games on the road, and we just didn't do enough to win the
The Devils went 0-for-2 on the power play, extending their current drought
with the man advantage to 15 straight opportunities.