The New Jersey Devils will face off against the Philadelpia Flyers tonight to complete a home and home series. The Devils were victorious Wednesday night by a score of 5-2 in the third meeting of the teams this season. The Devils have won all three previous meetings this year.
New Jersey Devils
Tonight’s spotlight is on Johan Hedberg. As we all know, Hedberg struggled mightily when Martin Brodeur headed to injured reserve a few weeks ago. In the first five games of Brodeur’s absence the Devils were win-less and Hedberg had a 3.20 goals against average. However, Hedberg has turned it around lately, leading the Devils to wins in three of their last four games. In these four games Hedberg’s goals against average is 2.75. So, can Johan lead the Devils to a fourth victory over the Flyers this season tonight? He looked good on Wednesday night and nothing tells me that he won’t perform well tonight.
There’s not too much to say about the Flyers. They need a win desperately. No one would have expected them to be last in the Atlantic Division through 28 games. There are many parts of their game to blame, including their high powered offense, but my spotlight is on the net-minder.
Ilya Bryzgalov has been inconsistent at best and a big part of the Flyers’ struggles. Ilya is 12-12-1 on the season, and his 2.86 goals against average is not even in the top 30 for NHL goaltenders. He needs to be better, especially tonight against a team that he has surrendered 12 goals to in three games. For the Flyers to win tonight, they need a strong defensive effort to keep the Devils from scoring four or more goals. If they can do that, they should have a good opportunity to win on their home ice.
The puck drops at 7:00 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Flyers (12-15-1) need a win, especially because a scheduling quirk has them only playing one game in eight days following tonight’s contest. The Devils (13-9-5) can definitely break out of their slump with a victory tonight as they are back in second place behind the Pittsburgh Penguins in the division.
It’s sure to be a physical one tonight. Tune in to some Friday night hockey!