New Jersey (5-2-0) at Philadelphia (1-3-3), 4:00 pm EDT
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) — An explosive offensive performance gave
the Philadelphia Flyers their first win of the season and their
Atlantic Division rival a harsh wake-up call.
The Flyers look to post their second consecutive win over the
New Jersey Devils in the finale of a home-and-home series on
Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
The game originally was slated to take place in the evening but
was moved up to clear the stage in the City of Brotherly Love
for the Phillies, who host the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of
the World Series at Citizens Bank Park in prime time. The
best-of-seven series is even at one game apiece.
Captain Mike Richards set up four goals, including Scott
Hartnell’s go-ahead tally late in the second period, as the
Flyers cruised to a 6-3 victory on Friday – their first win in
New Jersey since March 9, 2004.
After allowing just nine goals over their first six games, the
Devils found out how vulnerable their defense can be. It did
not help matters when captain Jamie Langenbrunner left the game
with a lower body injury, possibly joining Brian Rolston and
Bobby Holik on the shelf.
Not only did the Flyers win, they did it just hours after
receiving the news that star center Daniel Briere would be
sidelined up to a month with a torn abdominal muscle that will
have to be surgically repaired. Losing a 31-goal scorer dented
their offensive scheme, but they found a way forge a tie with
the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres for the most goals in
the Eastern Conference (26).
Philadelphia – which has netted 13 of its goals this season in
the second period – has tallied 16 times over its past three
games, during which it is 1-0-2. Simon Gagne has a recorded at
least a point in each of the six games in which he has played,
while Jeff Carter has scored a goal in five of his last six
Such production should provide another ample test for Martin
Brodeur, who made 22 saves on Friday but let a 3-2 lead slip
away. Courtesy of his worst outing of the season, he remained
eight wins behind Hall of Famer Patrick Roy (551) for first
place on the all-time list.
According to the Bergen Record, coach Brent Sutter will start
Brodeur in goal again despite expressing thoughts of giving
backup Kevin Weekes his first chance of the season.
In eight meetings with the Devils last season, the Flyers went
2-5-1, including a 2-2-0 record at home. Philadelphia is
91-78-24 all time against the New Jersey franchise, including a
57-27-13 mark in 97 games at home.