Some thoughts on the first period…
- Goal factory: Okay, not really, but the real meaning is that both of the Devils’ goals in the first period came as a result of them capitalizing on an opportunity around the net. If I’ve said it five times already, I’ll say it again — the Devils will have to manufacture goals this season. One way to do that is to pounce on rebounds (which they didn’t do against the Islanders). The other is to simply put puck after puck on net and hope to get a bounce or create a chance. Opportunistic hockey. It’ll be Jersey’s mantra all season.
- Lesson forgotten: Speaking of that first goal, it appears the Flyers have forgotten how the Devils beat them in the playoffs last year. Dump, chase and use your speed to create opportunities (there’s that word again) with the puck. It was the Devils’ M.O. in the playoffs last year and something they didn’t do consistently Saturday night. The first period wasn’t perfect in that regard, but they did score both of those goals in situations built off the chip and chase mentality.
- Don’t forget the middle: In between those two Devils goals, the Flyers really carried the play. They put a lot of pressure on Marty and forced him to make some really difficult saves, particularly on the first power play. The Devils should feel good about their 2-0 lead, but they have to be way of a Flyers team that can turn the score around very quickly. Jersey has to get a handle on the pace of the game and keep the Flyers from controlling the puck in the offensive end.