Gameday: Flyers at Devils (2/15/13)

Flyers-Devils

The Flyers and Devils meet up again in what’s sure to be a physical, nasty game.

Who:  Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils
When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Media: TV – MSG+ (Channel listings); RadioWFAN (660 AM or 101.9 FM)
Twitter: @cgriffin415 | @SNYDevils

Stats & Notes (via Devils PR)

  • Combined with their six-game winning streak to close out the 2011-12 schedule, the Devils are 14-2-3 in their last 19 regular season contests.
  • LW Alexei Ponikarovsky, who was re-acquired in a trade from Winnipeg on Wednesday, also made his Devils debut vs. Philadelphia last season. Ponikarovsky was traded to New Jersey from Carolina on January 20, scored the Devils’ only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Flyers the following day. He will become the 23rd player to be re-acquired and play for New Jersey.
  • Ponikarovsky’s only goal of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs came was the overtime game winner in game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Philadelphia.
  • Ilya Kovalchuk has points in four consecutive games (3g-3a-6pts).
  • Kovalchuk had 1g-1a in the first meeting between the teams on January 22 after posting 4g-11a-15pts in 10 combined regular/post-season games vs. Philadelphia last year.
  • Kovalchuk is also just four points away from reaching the 800 mark in his NHL career.
  • Patrik Elias is tied for fifth in the NHL with 12 assists and has 1g-7a-8pts in his last five games.
  • Marek Zidlicky has points in back-to-back games (2a).
  • Bobby Butler could appear in his 100th career NHL game tonight.
  • New Jersey is 8/26 (30.8 %) on the power play over the past six games.

Expected Lineups

Forwards                                                              Defense                                                      Goalie
Ponikarovsky-Zajac-Kovalchuk                           Salvador-Fayne                                              Brodeur
Elias-Henrique-Clarkson                                    Greene-Larsson
Carter-Gionta-Bernier                                        Volchenkov-Zidlicky
Barch-Josefson-Butler

Inactives: Harrold, Tallinder, Matteau

New faces in the crowd: What should we expect from Alexei Ponikarovsky in his first game since rejoining the Devils? Obviously, a hat trick, two assists and seven hits, including one bone-crunching check on Claude Giroux, right? Kidding — sort of. Most likely, Poni will play a physical game, while manning Dainius Zubrus’ old spot on the first line. I wouldn’t be shocked if he picked up an assist on a Kovy goal at some point tonight. Heck, who knows, maybe his arrival will spark something in Zajac and that whole first line will carry the Devils for the first time this season. More importantly, I’m expecting him to look like he’s been skating with the Devils all season and play sound, solid “Devils hockey.” Meanwhile, the Flyers have their own new (old) face in the lineup tonight that didn’t play the last time these two met in Danny Briere. Although Briere has yet to light up the score sheet (four points in 10 games), he provides the Flyers with more scoring depth down the middle than they had earlier in the season. Briere is an extremely gifted playmaker and a key part of their power-play unit, which leads me to my next point.

Don’t be special: Special teams cost the Devils big time Tuesday night. The players and the coaches admitted as much afterward. There were lazy, untimely penalties by Andy Greene and David Clarkson late in the third period and a power play that seemed to regress after an early conversion. Obviously that has to be better on most nights, but in particular against a team likely the Flyers that has struggled to score goals this season (T-21st). Now, the Flyers have yet to ice the dynamic power play they had last season, but they remain incredibly talented. Anytime you can put Briere and Giroux on the ice at the same time the other team has to take notice. Add in the strong start of Jakub Voracek and the Flyers have all the looks of a dangerous team that has yet to break out offensively. The last thing you want to do with a team like that is give them the man advantage five, six or seven times in a game. The Devils must be more disciplined tonight and they must at least be effective at generating pressure and maintaining momentum while on the power play.

Payback (minus Mel Gibson): The last time the Devils and Flyers met, Philly wasn’t just outplayed, they were outclassed. The Devils spoke after the game about how Philly looked and played frustrated. The Devils scored twice early and the Flyers completely melted down. The game got very chippy, there were a few unnecessary scraps in the third period and it was clear the Devils had got under the Flyers’ skin. I didn’t expect the Flyers to forget it then and I don’t now. The Flyers will play a physical, bordering-on-dirty game and will try to get the Devils out of their comfort zone early. Even though Scott Hartnell isn’t playing, I expect a lot of early hits from Philly as they come out and try to set the tone. I wouldn’t be shocked if Krys Barch ends up going toe-to-toe with Zac Rinaldo at some point in the first period, either. If the game gets out of hand in the later stages, watch out. Just like last time, it’ll get chippy and the Flyers will likely start trying to exact physical punishment instead of playing out the string.

G needs a G: Giroux, the man affectionately known as “G,” has scored one goal since scoring once in each of the Flyers’ first two games. Sound familiar? Much like the Devils went through with Kovy, the Flyers are waiting for their best player to start playing like it. Is it the captain’s “C” that’s weighing him down? Or does he miss his buddy Jaromir Jagr, who left to sign for way too much money in Dallas? It’s probably a mix of both and it doesn’t help that his other line partner, Hartnell, is on the shelf at the moment. Unfortunately for Giroux, the Devils are the wrong team for a star player to be looking to score on. The Devils have made a lot of their bones thus far this season by keeping opposing stars off the board. Rick Nash, John Tavares, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos have all been silent for long stretches against Martin Brodeur and the Devils this season. I expect Giroux will try to change that trend early tonight, charging the net and testing Brodeur before Marty can settle into a groove. If the Devils can survive the early barrage and manage to keep Giroux in check, it’s a pretty good bet they win this game.





230 comments
Anthony Calderaro
Anthony Calderaro

Take results from this poll in 1986. Lots of Yankee fans jumped on the bandwagon back then. When the Mets rise again this will change. Let's Go Mets!

Richard Grape
Richard Grape

what a big time freakin load of crap! \U0001f44e

Lucy Mash
Lucy Mash

Doesn't make them the better team! Let's Go Mets!

John Albright
John Albright

Maybe in the next couple of years with the way the Mets are going they will get more respect and a larger fan base. I remember back in 1986 when they won the world series it seemed like everyone was a Mets fan.

Terry Colaiacovo
Terry Colaiacovo

That's ok. Time to live in the present. This is the year the Mets and us fans show NY who the better team is....and will be for many years to come.

Avo Stepanian
Avo Stepanian

No secret that they have the most "fans". And i use that term very lightly

Mac Claire
Mac Claire

Yukkee fans... Give them this much: they are loyal. Blind and arrogant buy loyal.

Lisa A Lakomski
Lisa A Lakomski

I like any team who beat the yankees ...Let's go METS !!

William Hartley
William Hartley

It's OK. I'm loyal to the Blue and orange... 4 lyfe!!!

Joey Gregorio
Joey Gregorio

A true Mets Fan knows so much about the game , I would say 80 percent of so called Yankee fans just know Derek Jeter and that's it ..

Mike Pallotta
Mike Pallotta

I`ll never understand SNY...I don`t like the YES channel but at least they respect and back their team.More then i can say about SNY...Who TF is your team ? It seems i`m spending money on a bunch of traitors.You guys should rename your channel to the "Benedict Arnold" channel...POS !

Marc Bovay
Marc Bovay

27 amount of coke heads on the Mets 86 team(including coaches)

Dave Finkbeiner
Dave Finkbeiner

I'm not sure about that. Mets always find away to lose.

Dave Finkbeiner
Dave Finkbeiner

Who are the Mets? Aren't they a Yankees minor league team? Lol.

Dave Finkbeiner
Dave Finkbeiner

I disagree to a point. Been a fan of this team for 45 years. Saw alot of bad teams. I would like to know who became a fan when the mid 90's rolled around. Either way the mets never had a chance. They don't have the history.

Christopher Joseph
Christopher Joseph

Does this not include all the "urban' fans that just wear the apparel ?

Dylan Taggart
Dylan Taggart

Sure, but can they name anymore than five yankees players from 1980 and back or name five+ of their world series? Nope...

Carl LaFong
Carl LaFong

Did you really think there would be a different outcome?!

John Pizarro
John Pizarro

It has to do with winning some people aren't as dumb as us Mets fans. They don't want to deal with all the crappines

Cristian Arroyo
Cristian Arroyo

Too bad the Yankees aren't going anywhere anytime soon lol Mets are on the rise

Kyle Johnson
Kyle Johnson

How many of those "fans" could name a Yankees shortstop not named Jeter or Dent?

Kevin Moran
Kevin Moran

Shut up Moises Tovar! Whoever you are! You jerk!

Scott Warner
Scott Warner

The majority of Yankee fans know little to nothing about baseball never even seen the stadium

Drew Wellman
Drew Wellman

Did they do the same thing with the jets?

Frank Lloyd
Frank Lloyd

That means that Met fans are either reading and\or learning something or working, instead of being on Facebook like most Yankee fans, who don't know how to do those kind of things! LETS GO METS!!!!

Loretta Hartle
Loretta Hartle

Anybody can say they are Yankee fans. I have been a die hard Mets fan since 1962 Been a baseball fan longer than that. Seems the Yankees at one time had the most money to spend & bought their pennants. But, times have changed other teams also have big bucks. How long will it take them to win another 27 its getting tougher. :)