Devils-Rangers Game 3 Preview

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After being shutout in Game 1 the Devils knew that there were changes that needed to be made if they were going to get back in this series. The changes helped which gave the Devils a 3-2 victory in Game 2. They were getting more bodies in front of Henrik Lundqvist who saw every shot in Game 1. By getting bodies in front lead to 2 Devils’ goals including the game winning redirect from David Clarkson. Another big adjustment the Devils needed to make from Game 1 was controlling the flow of play in the 3rd period. Game 1 the Devils surrendered the first goal of the game 53 seconds into the 3rd to Dan Girardi. They didn’t allow that to happen in game 2 out shooting the Rangers 10-8in the 3rd period. If the Devils want to win Game 3 they will have to make sure Lundqvist can’t see a thing and control the pace of play the whole game but most importantly the 3rd period.

Photo Of The Game: Devils Wrap It Up

The Devils wrapped up their series against the Philadelphia Flyers in 5 games with a 3-1 victory last night. The Devils wait to see who their next opponent is in the Eastern Conference Finals. They will play either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals. Swarm it up!

Read: A New But Some What Old Style Devils Team

As the Devils finished off the Philadelphia Flyers I had thought about the beginning of this series and I thought that the Devils were going to be steam rolled by a very physical Flyers team. Since the Flyers had run over the Pittsburgh Penguins with some what of ease, I thought worse for the Devils since they barely could get passed the Florida Panthers. Five games later I was proved wrong and boy was I glad to be wrong.

The personality of  coach Pete DeBoer really came through against the Flyers that really has not been seen in New Jersey in quite some time. He is a tough coach to read.  The Devils were a tough team to read for the Flyers as they would try to break into the Devils’ zone but would be caught in the neutral zone making it impossible to generate any offense. DeBoer always has a calm look on his face. The Flyers would try to pull the Devils into their game of getting the Devils to play agitated hockey but they had nothing of it. They played whistle to whistle and level headed which didn’t get them into penalty trouble. DeBoer wanted to bring a more offensive style of hockey to a defensive driven team. The Devils had the right mix of offense (scoring at least 3 goals a game in the series) and defense (allowing 11 goals over the 5 games).  But what really separates this Devils team from prior playoff teams is the fact the Devils were able to establish a forecheck that I had never seen before. Their forecheck was relentless against a physical Flyers team which ultimately lead to the demise of the Flyers.

You really have to give a ton of credit to coach Pete DeBoer but the job isn’t done yet. They will have to either play the Rangers or the Capitals in the EAstern Conference Finals. Either team won’t be an easy task but if the Devils can continue their great mix of offense and constraining defense they could be making their 5th trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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:

Quote: “Rewarding” Goal For Zajac

“It’s great. He’s had a hard, long, frustrating year. It’s got to be rewarding and satisfying for him to get that one”- Zach Parise on Travis Zajac

Final: Devils 3 Panthers 2

Scoring Summary:
First Period- Bernier (2)
Second Period- Kovalchuk (3) and Versteeg (3) and Bergenheim (3)
Third Period- None
Overtime- Zajac (3)

Next Game: at Florida Panthers 4/26 at TBA

Team Stats:
Devils outdrew the Panthers 30-28
Devils outshot the Panthers 42-16
Devils went 1 for 4 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Panthers 28-27

Player Stats:

The Devils completely outshot the Panthers tonight however the numbers are a bit deceiving. It was more quantity than quality tonight. At times in the 2nd and 3rd period the Devils look out of sync and flat. But when it mattered Zach Parise made a great defensively play on Weiss to stop a 2 on 1 which would ultimately set up Zajac for the game winning goal. The Devils need to carry this momentum into Florida with ton of energy, think 1st period of game 1 kind of energy.

Final: Panthers 3 Devils 0

Scoring Summary:
First Period- None
Second Period- Versteeg (2)
Third Period- Upshall (1) and Kopecky (1)

Next Game: vs Florida Panthers 4/24 at TBA

Zach Parise Postgame:
“We don’t care about the past. We have to find a way to win two in a row. We have to win. We have no choice.”

Pete DeBoer Postgame:
“We know the spot we’re in. We’ve got to win at home and then we’re playing one game to move on. So, we’ve got to take care of business at home.”

Team Stats:
Panthers outdrew the Devils 31-27
Panthers outshot the Devils 33-30
Devils went 0 for 3 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Panthers 47-46

Player Stats:

Final: Panthers 4 Devils 2

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Scoring Summary:
First Period- Weiss (1)
Second Period- Weiss (2) and Goc (1)
Third Period- Zajac (1) and Kovalchuk (1) and Fleischmann (1)

Next Game: vs Florida Panthers 4/17 at 7:00 pm

Ilya Kovalchuk Postgame:
“I think we gave them a good push in the third, but it just wasn’t enough. I think we all liked the way we played in the third period, so we just have to keep playing the same way.”

Pete DeBoer Postgame:
“I think we would have taken a split coming down here. There’s no easy match-ups in the NHL playoffs. I don’t think anyone expected that anyone was going to beat anybody in four. We got a split. Now, have to take care of business at home.”

Team Stats:
Panthers outdrew the Devils 29-24
Devils outshot the Panthers 25-24
Devils went 0 for 2 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Panthers 52-50

Player Stats:

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