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Flyers-Devils Preview

Sunday, 04.16.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Flyers-Devils Preview
The Philadelphia Flyers will try to take another step toward defense of their Atlantic Division crown when they visit the surging New Jersey Devils.

The Flyers beat the first-place New York Rangers 4-1 on Saturday to close within one point of the division leaders. Philadelphia has two games remaining while the Rangers have one, and the Flyers could win the Atlantic and clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with wins in their final two games on the road against New Jersey and the New York Islanders.

"We're one point behind them and we've got one more game, so it looks pretty good," said Flyers center Peter Forsberg, who returned to the lineup Saturday after missing four games with a groin injury. "I think we showed everybody we can play good hockey for 60 minutes."

The Flyers jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period off goals from Mike Knuble, Niko Dimitrakos, R.J. Umberger and Petr Nedved. Philadelphia outshot the Rangers 15-3 in the first period en route to just their fourth win in the last nine games. The Flyers have scored four goals in each of those victories.

Antero Niittymaki made 25 saves and allowed one or fewer goals for the fifth time in his 41 starts this season.

"We needed to make a statement today, and now we need to follow it up," said Umberger, who also had an assist.

The Flyers may have a tougher time following up their statement against the Devils, as they have lost all three games in New Jersey this season and four of the last five meetings between the teams. Philadelphia has scored just five goals in those five matchups.

The Devils are playing their best hockey of the season and beat the Flyers 4-1 on Thursday for their ninth straight win.

"This one's different because we needed the points," said Scott Gomez, who had a goal and an assist. "It took us a while, for whatever reason, but when everybody's doing their role, we're tough to beat."

The Devils, who are outscoring opponents 33-18 in their streak, are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference race, but still have slim division title chances. New Jersey will try to win 10 in a row for the first time since its franchise-best 13-game winning streak from Feb. 26-March 23, 2001.

Gionta has nine goals and 11 assists in his 13-game point streak and is one goal shy of Pat Verbeek's franchise-record total of 45, set in 1987-88.

STANDINGS: Flyers - 99 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Atlantic Division. Devils - 97 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Simon Gagne, 45 goals and 77 points; Forsberg, 56 assists; Donald Brashear, 166 PIM. Devils - Gionta, 45 goals and 84 points; Gomez, 48 assists; Jason Wiemer, 96 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Flyers - Power play: 18.2 percent (80 for 440), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.7 percent (359 for 456), 27th. Devils - Power play: 18.0 percent (77 for 429), 18th. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (279 for 342), 20th.

GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Niittymaki (23-15-6, 2 SO, 2.96 GAA); Robert Esche (21-10-5, 1, 2.97). Devils - Brodeur (41-23-7, 5, 2.59); Scott Clemmensen (3-4-2, 0, 3.35).

SEASON SERIES: Devils, 4-3.

LAST MEETING: Thursday; Devils, 4-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Parise scored two goals, Gionta had three assists and Brodeur made 33 saves to lead the Devils. Dimitrakos tallied a power-play goal for Philadelphia.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 22-12-5 on the road; Devils - 26-11-3 at home.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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