Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Join the Flyer Wire List Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
  • RSS

New Round, New Challenges

Flyers expecting whole new look to second round

Saturday, 04.28.2012 / 12:31 PM ET / News
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Staff Writer
Share with your Friends

New Round, New Challenges

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Like so many other hockey fans on the East Coast, several of the Flyers players were up early Friday morning watching the double-overtime thriller taking place between the Devils and Panthers in South Florida.

The Flyers, though, were watching for an entirely different reason than the rest of the hockey community. They knew the next goal would decide if they would have to hop on a flight to Fort Lauderdale to start the Eastern Conference Semifinals, or stay home and get ready to play their New Jersey Turnpike rivals for the fifth time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Devils rookie Adam Henrique provided the answer with his goal 3:47 in to the second overtime. Roughly four and a half days after finishing off the Penguins in Game 6, the Flyers finally knew the identity of their next opponent.

"Guys are just having fun right now," Flyers center Claude Giroux said. "We need to go back to being focused, go back to working hard."

They've got until Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC) to apply their game faces.

As amped up, intense, offensive and attention-grabbing as their series against the Penguins was, the Flyers anticipate a much different brand of hockey against the Devils -- only they still believe it'll come with the same type of animosity that was on display in the first round.

"It's easy to hate Pittsburgh, but the Devils are right there on our list, too," Scott Hartnell said. "Being a division opponent just [up] the turnpike, it's going to be a battle. It's going to be fun."

But it won't be nearly as wide open as the series against the Penguins, which featured a combined 56 goals, including 24 special-teams goals.

"I think that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Flyers center Danny Briere said.

"I can't imagine an 8-5 game or a 10-3 game coming up in this one," Hartnell said. "We're going to have to sacrifice, play great defense. [Ilya Bryzgalov] is going to have to be terrific. We have to keep on going with that power play, and five-on-five we have to score some goals."

Maxime Talbot told NHL.com that the three keys for the Flyers against the Devils is to play with speed, get traffic in front of New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, and win the special-teams battle. That's really no different than their three keys going into the first-round series, but the Devils pose an altogether different challenge than Pittsburgh, which led the NHL in scoring during the regular season.

For instance, the Flyers power play was 12-for-23 against the Penguins in the first round; it was 3-for-33 against the Devils in the regular season.

"They're a team that likes to slow the game down," Briere said of the Devils. "They don't take many chances. They play tight defensively. And they like to frustrate teams. One of keys for us is not getting frustrated; just wait patiently for our chances to come."

The Penguins frustrated the Flyers at times with their offense, especially in Game 4 when they scored 10 goals. The Devils at times frustrated the Flyers during the regular season with their patience.

Each team won three games in the six-game regular-season series which included a combined 32 goals; 18 for the Flyers.

"They play a tight-checking game and they wait for you to make mistakes," Wayne Simmonds said. "Against Pittsburgh, we had a lot of offensive opportunities. Against New Jersey, they tend to limit the offensive chances-against. If you're not getting chances your game can fall apart, and you can't let that happen. If we get pucks behind their defense, we know we can grind them down and play our game."

All that said, the Flyers are not naive. They see enough firepower coming from the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Petr Sykora and Henrique to understand the Devils' long-standing reputation of being a defensive, trapping team doesn't quite define how they play now.

A better way to describe the Devils would be an opportunistic, defensive-oriented team.

"It's definitely a different team than the Penguins, but they're not the good old Jersey Devils that would just sit and wait," Talbot said. "They bring their first 'D' on the rush and they try to play with skill. They're dangerous. There is a reason why they are here."

And the Flyers don't see any reason why they are the favorites in this series, even though they own the home-ice advantage and just knocked off the team many considered to be the best in the NHL.

"We were [five] points behind the Penguins, so I'm not sure how that translates to a heavy favorite," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "New Jersey finished one point behind us, and I'm not sure how that translates into a favorite. And I think it's all irrelevant. None of that matters. It's two teams that are going to go out and play hockey; the team that does it the best is going to move on."




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.