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Flyers-Devils Preview

Sunday, 04.16.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / 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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 53 16 29 -8 45
J. Voracek 53 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 53 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 51 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 35 9 20 4 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 53 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 51 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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