Devils reach high ratings again

Yesterday’s coverage of Devils-Flyers on NBC sparked a 1.9 overnight rating, writes Puck The Media.

The New York market drew a 2.5 rating, which was the highest number for a Devils game in the New York market since 2006, when the Devils and Rangers drew a 2.8 rating.

The number was also up 92% from the last Devils playoff game on NBC, against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2007.

The Capitals-Rangers on Saturday and Devils-Flyers on Sunday produced the best overnight average for weekend coverage of the second round since two-game regional coverage on ABC (1.9) on May 1, 2004.

Final: Flyers 4 Devils 3

Scoring Summary:
First Period- Parise (3)
Second Period- Briere (6) and Van Riemsdyk (1) and Zajac (4)
Third Period- Giroux (7) and Sykora (1)
Overtime- Briere (7)

Next Game: 5/1 at Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 pm

Ilya Kovalchuk Postgame:
“You can’t win all the games in overtime, so you have to watch what you did wrong and make sure you don’t do it again next game.”

Pete DeBoer Postgame:
“We haven’t made excuses for those kind of things all year. I’m not going to start now. They were the hungrier team in the second half, so what the reason for it doesn’t matter right now. We’ve got to get ready for Game 2.”

Team Stats:
Flyers outdrew the Devils 38-31
Flyers outshot the Devils 36-26
Devils went 1 for 3 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Flyers 31-27

Player Stats:

Game 1 of ECSF: Devils vs. Flyers (3:00 pm)

The Devils hope to open their second-round series on a high note as they play the Philadelphia Flyers.

TV: The game will be televised on NBC.

Martin Brodeur will make his 178th consecutive playoff start. On the other side of the rink, Devils’ killer during the regular season, Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start.

Devils’ line combinations will be decided after warmups, tweets Rich Chere. Chere notes that it looks like Cam Janssen will dress for the warmups, but that does not mean he will play.

Pre-game notes: Devils battling health issues, Janssen to dress

Devils coach Pete DeBoer will make lineup decisions after warmups, reports Tom Gulitti of Fire and Ice.

DeBoer told Gulitti that the team is battling health issue, which is usual in the playoffs.

Gulitti also reports that Cam Janssen will dress for the warmups, but that does not mean he will play.

Kovalchuk plans to shoot more

Ilya Kovalchuk believes one reason coach Petr DeBoer decided to mix up line combinations during Saturday’s practice was because he and Zach Parise were overpassing and not shooting.

“I think I’m just going to shoot more. Playing with Zach, we were overpassing the puck,” Kovalchuk told Mark Everson of New York Post.

Kovalchuk scored three times and assisted on two goals during Devils’ first-round series against the Florida Panthers.

Parise lead the entire Devils’ team with 32 shots and Kovalchuk was second with 25.

DeBoer may not stick to new lines

Devils coach Pete DeBoer mixed up line combinations during Saturday’s practice, but said he might not stick with them for Game 1 against the Flyers, writes Tom Gulitti of Fire and Ice.

“We’re moving some guys around. I don’t know if those are the combinations we’ll play tomorrow night or not. I’m not really married to lines right now, but we just wanted to try some different things today in practice,” DeBoer said.

DeBoer dropped Zach Parise to the second line and replaced him with Alexei Ponikarovsky. Petr Sykora practiced on the third line.