Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-0) @ New Jersey Devils (1-0-0)
The Devils return home tonight for the first time this season. There will be a new banner in the ceiling (although it’s not the banner 99.999% of us REALLY wanted but it did come at the expense of the Rangers so if you are bummed it’s not a Stanley Cup banner, at least find comfort in knowing that it isn’t hanging in Madison Square Garden).
Puck Drop: 7:30pm EST
The Broadcast: TV - NBC Sports Network; Radio - 660 AM WFAN
Season Series: 0-0
The Last Time We Saw Philadelphia: That was Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where the Devils sent the Claude Giroux-less Flyers home for what would turn out to be a VERY LOOOOONG summer.
The Last Devils Game: The Devils opened up the season on Saturday night against the Islanders in Long Island. The final result would suggest a close game but that doesn’t paint a clear picture. The Devils outshot, outhit and outworked the Islanders for most of the evening. The Devils defense, under the direction of rookie coach Scott Stevens was SOLID. Should we expect anything different from something Scott Stevens puts his name on? Zajac got the Devils on the board first and then after watching the Islanders eventually tie the game, David Clarkson picked up right where he left off last season and put home a clutch, game winner.
The Last Flyers Game: The Flyers traveled to Buffalo on Sunday, a day after losing at home to the Penguins. The Flyers found themselves up 2-1 in the second period before the wheels came off. With the scored tied at 2 after 2, there was still a chance for the Flyers to get a point or two. Unfortunately for the Flyers, that chance never left the locker room between the second and third periods. Buffalo took control of the game in the third by scoring 3 goals within 5 minutes, sending Philly back home to start the season 0-2.
Thoughts on Tonight’s Game: I am sure that Philly is going to come out tonight with a little extra “giddy up and go” because of their disappointing start. I didn’t really consider the Islanders a great test the other night but a team like Philly, who is pretty deep offensively, will be a good test for our team.
Philly does look to be a little weak defensively so far this season so if NJ can put forth another solid effort on defense, we should have enough offense to send Philly home with another loss. Philadelphia has taken a lot of penalties so far this season and given up quite a few power play goals. They been shorthanded 9 times and given up 5 goals. To be fair, one of those 5 came with the net empty but there is definitely a weakness to exploit there. This is a rivalry game so I would expect a number of calls on both sides of the puck.
Philadelphia Flyers Notes:
- Danny Briere will be out tonight.
- Zac Rinaldo will also miss tonight’s game.
- Cosmonaut Ilya Bryzgalov will man the pipes.
New Jersey Devils Notes:
- Looks like Adam Larsson will be sitting again.
- Stephan Matteau will make his home debut.
- Brodeur gets the call tonight, which he should.
Players To Watch:
When it comes to the Philadelphia Flyers, you always have to keep your eye on Claude Giroux. Given the opportunity, he can score some clutch goals for his club. I’m also keeping my eye on Sean Couturier because I believe that he could have a breakout season this year.
As for NJ, I want to see how Stephan Matteau does tonight. He had a lot of energy the other night in Long Island and seem to be places where the pucked ended up but this is a rival game and he has a pretty well know issue with taking a good amount of penalties at the junior level this season. Will the extra adrenalin of a rival game and home opener push him over the edge?
It should be a great game. Philly hasn't started like they had hoped and I am sure will be eager to try and get their first win against the team that sent them home last summer. I'm a little bummed that it looks like Larsson is sitting again. I know he's an NHL calibre defenseman, I just don't get why we keep scratching him.
We wanted to send out a little reminder to Brayden Schenn. There's a lot of hockey left to play this season. Try not to let the Devils use you as their own personal punching bag.
As always, check us out on our Twitter accounts during the game and then come back for our recap after.