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Flyers-Devils Preview/Game Notes

Friday, 03.28.2008 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Flyers-Devils Preview/Game Notes
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils
GAME NOTES

Tonight's game is the Flyers' 78th game of the season...The Flyers have a 39-28-10 record for 88 points through 77 games (fourth in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference)...The Flyers have won four consecutive games and have earned at least a point in the standings in 14 of the last 18 games (9-4-5)...The Flyers' 2-1 overtime victory at NY Rangers on Tuesday snapped a four-game winless streak on the road for Philadelphia...The Flyers won at Buffalo on Feb. 25, 4-3 in a shootout, ending their 10-game winless streak (0-8-2 - tied for the fourth longest winless streak in team history)...The Flyers' 3-2 shootout loss at Ottawa on Feb. 19, ended the team's seven-game losing streak (longest losing streak of the season and tied for the second-longest losing streak in team history)...The Flyers have surpassed their win and point totals from last season (finished the 2006-07 season with 22 wins and 56 points)...The Flyers have a 27-6-6 record when scoring the first goal of the game...The Flyers have only lost nine times when leading after a period (16-2-2 record when leading after the first period and 28-1-3 record when leading after two periods)...The Flyers have an 19-14-6 record at home and a 20-14-4 record on the road.

Shots: The Flyers have averaged 28.4 shots per game and have allowed 32.1 shots per game this season...The Flyers have been outshot on average 3.7 shots per game...The Flyers have been outshot in 47 of 77 games this season (16-8-3 record when outshooting opponent; 21-19-7 record when outshot by opponent; 2-1-0 record when shots are even).
Joffrey Lupul tries to get through New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus (left) and Patrik Elias during a game at the Prudential Center earlier this season. (Getty Images)

REGULAR SEASON LIFETIME SERIES VS. NEW JERSEY:
This is the seventh of eight meetings between these two teams this season. The Flyers are 1-5-0 this season and winless in their last five contests against the Devils, with their only victory coming on Oct. 18, 4-0. Mike Richards leads Philly in the series, having recorded nine points (3G,6A) in six games. Philadelphia has scored 50 percent of its goals (6 of 12) on the power play in the season series. The Flyers lead the all-time series with an 89-78-18-5 record, but have a 33-51-8-2 record on the road.

LAST MEETING:

January 22: New Jersey 7, FLYERS 3 at Wachovia Center: The Devils rode five power play goals to a 7-3 win over the Flyers. Defenseman Johnny Oduya posted four points (1G,3A) in the contest to lead the Devils. Danny Briere, Mike Knuble and Jeff Carter each scored a goal for the Flyers. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki allowed five goals on 20 shots faced in 34:33 minutes played to record the loss. Stars of the Game: 1st - Johnny Oduya; 2nd - Patrik Elias; 3rd - Mike Richards.

INJURIES:
TOTAL MAN-GAMES LOST TO INJURY IN 2007-08: 292
Simon Gagne (LW) - Has missed the last 22 games due a mild concussion sustained at Pittsburgh on Feb. 10...Will be out of action indefinitely.
Derian Hatcher (D) - Missed last five games after sustaining a fracture of his right tibia at Boston on March 15...Will be out of action indefinitely.
Randy Jones (D) - Missed last six games due to a hip flexor injury sustained vs. Toronto on March 12...Is on a day-to-day basis.
R.J. Umberger (C) - Missed last four games due a MCL sprain to his left knee sustained at Pittsburgh on Sunday...Will be out of action for at least two weeks.

FLYERS' RECORD AGAINST:

The Flyers have a 34-23-10 record against Eastern Conference opponents; including 7-8-5 against Northeast Division teams, 13-4-3 against Southeast Division teams and 14-11-2 against Atlantic Division teams, and a 5-5-0 record against the Western Conference; including 3-2-0 against Northwest Division teams and 2-3-0 against Pacific Division teams.

GOALS FOR/GOALS AGAINST:

The Flyers have scored 231 goals this season (3.00 goals per game average)...The Flyers allowed 216 goals against this season (2.77 GAA).

The Flyers have a 36-9-7 record when scoring three or more goals and a 3-19-3 record when scoring two or fewer goals. The Flyers have an 8-24-8 record when allowing three or more goals and a 31-4-2 record when allowing two or fewer goals.

The Flyers' 4-0 loss vs. NY Rangers on Jan. 31, ended the team's streak of 11 straight games of scoring at least three goals (48 goals over span - 4.36 goals per game).

SPECIAL TEAMS:

The Flyers have scored 82 goals on 367 power play attempts this season (22.3%), including 36 goals on 175 on the road (20.6%)...The Flyers have successfully killed 303 of 363 power play attempts against this season (83.5%), including 161 of 191 attempts on the road (84.3%)...The Flyers scored 13 shorthanded goals this season, while allowing six shorthanded goals against.

The Flyers' 4-0 loss vs. NY Rangers on Jan. 31, ended the team's streak of 11 straight games of scoring a power play goal (19 goals in 57 power play attempts - 33.3%).

BACK-TO-BACK GAMES:

The Flyers have 17 pairs of back-to-back games this season. They have a 5-6-5 record in the first game and a 6-8-2 record in the second game this season.

TOYOTA CUP:
Martin Biron - 47
Mike Richards - 47
Jeff Carter - 36
Danny Briere - 35
Complete standings

RECENT GAMES:

March 25: FLYERS 2, NY Rangers 1 in overtime at Madison Square Garden: Philadelphia fought their way back from a 1-0 deficit for most of the game and Mike Richards finished off the comeback to give the Flyers a 2-1 overtime victory against the Rangers. Danny Briere scored the equalizer at 13:28 in the third period off a feed from Vaclav Prospal, while Martin Biron turned aside 31 of 32 shots, including all 21 through the final two periods and overtime, to earn his third straight victory. Stars of the Game: 1st: Mike Richards; 2nd: Martin Biron; 3rd: Danny Briere.

March 23: FLYERS 4, NY Islanders 1 at Wachovia Center: The Flyers cruised to a 4-1 victory over the visiting New York Islanders guided by a three-point night from Danny Briere, who recorded a goal and two assists. Martin Biron stopped 32 of 33 shots in the contest to earn his sixth victory of the season against the Islanders. Defenseman Braydon Coburn and Scott Hartnell each scored a goal, while Vaclav Prospal posted a goal and an assist for Philadelphia, who moved into sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the win. Stars of the Game: 1st: Danny Briere; 2nd: Vaclav Prospal; 3rd: Martin Biron.

March 21: FLYERS 4, NY Rangers 3 in a shootout at Wachovia Center: The Flyers outscored the Rangers in the shootout, 2-0, to earn the 4-3 win. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter each scored on their shootout attempt, while goaltender Martin Biron stopped both Rangers' shootout attempts. Danny Briere scored two goals to lead the Flyers. Richards also scored a goal in regulation play. Biron stopped 23 of 26 shots faced in regulation and overtime. Stars of the Game: 1st - Danny Briere; 2nd - Christian Backman; 3rd - Jeff Carter.

March 18: FLYERS 3, Atlanta 2 at Wachovia Center: The Flyers received goals from Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Vaclav Prospal to earn a 3-2 win and their ninth straight victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Joffrey Lupul added two assists on the night, while Antero Niitymaki turned aside 17 of 19 shots, including a point-blank opportunity from Ilya Kovalchuck in the waning seconds of the game to preserve the victory. Stars of the Game: 1st: Jeff Carter; 2nd: Joffrey Lupul; 3rd: Kari Lehtonen.

March 16: Pittsburgh 7, FLYERS 1 at Mellon Arena: Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each registered two goals and two assists to lead the Penguins to a 7-1 win over the Flyers. Pittsburgh scored the first three goals and the final four goals of the game to keep the Flyers winless in their last four games. Mike Knuble scored the lone goal for Philadelphia, who was playing the back end of their 16th pair of back-to-back game on the season. Stars of the Game: 1st: Evgeni Malkin; 2nd: Petr Sykora; 3rd: Pascal Dupuis.


The Philadelphia Flyers are playing well enough that they might be able to end their misery on the road against the New Jersey Devils.

The surging Flyers look to win their fifth in a row while trying to avoid a 12th consecutive road loss to the slumping Devils when the Atlantic Division rivals meet Friday night.

Tied with Boston for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but just two points ahead of ninth-place Washington, Philadelphia (39-28-10) hasn't won in New Jersey since a 3-1 victory there on March 9, 2004. The Flyers, losers of five in a row overall to the Devils after winning the first meeting of the season 4-0 on Oct. 18, have been outscored 11-3 in three trips to New Jersey in 2007-08.

The Flyers, however, appear confident heading into this contest after winning four straight since dropping four in a row, while New Jersey (42-28-7) has lost a season-high five consecutive games, dropping it into fifth in the East, just three points ahead of Philadelphia.

The Devils haven't lost six in a row since November 2000.

"It's a whole new ballgame (Friday)," Philadelphia's Jeff Carter told the team's official Web site. "I don't care what happened at the start of the year. I know we're playing good hockey right now."

Meeting for the first time since New Jersey won 7-3 at Philadelphia on Jan. 22, both are coming off different results against the New York Rangers.

New Jersey gave up two third-period goals in falling 3-2 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, two nights after Philadelphia won 2-1 overtime at New York to open a final four-game road trip before closing with two at home - including a date with the Devils on April 4.

Daniel Briere recorded his 30th goal and Mike Richards scored 2:16 into overtime for the Flyers, who have outscored their opponents 6-2 in their last two games.

"To me, (this is) about as close as playoffs can be," said Flyers goalie Martin Biron, who made 31 saves Tuesday for his third straight win. "That's why you don't look ahead to the playoffs, because you're playing in the playoffs right now."

Biron has stopped 63 of the 65 shots he's faced in his last two contests, but is 1-3-0 with a 3.75 goals-against average versus the Devils this season. He has lost all seven of his previous starts in New Jersey.

Briere, who has four goals and two assists in his last three games, has scored just twice against the Devils this season.

Patrik Elias and Zach Parise each scored Thursday for New Jersey, which blew a 2-1 lead and has just five goals in its last five games after recording eight total in its two victories prior to the skid.

"We can't afford to lose games like this at this time of year," Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner said. "It's extremely frustrating for us, a team that prides itself on being able to finish games."

Martin Brodeur made 28 saves Thursday in his fifth consecutive loss, but hopes to bounce while trying for a sixth straight win over Philadelphia. Brodeur has started all six contests versus the Flyers this season, posting a 2.00 GAA in those games.

Parise, the team leader with 31 goals, had two in the Devils' most recent win over Philadelphia.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 04 '08NJD 0 at PHI 3R. Umberger
Mar 28 '08PHI 4 at NJD 5 - SOJ. Langenbrunner
Jan 22 '08NJD 7 at PHI 3P. Elias
Jan 04 '08PHI 0 at NJD 3P. Martin
Dec 16 '07PHI 2 at NJD 4A. Asham
Nov 17 '07NJD 6 at PHI 2P. Elias
Nov 08 '07PHI 1 at NJD 4D. Zubrus
Oct 18 '07NJD 0 at PHI 4M. Richards
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