Game 30, Preview and Open Thread: Who Is This Team? Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils

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#12 Philadelphia Flyers (14-14-1, 29 pts) at #2 New Jersey Devils (21-8-1, 43 pts)
Prudential Center - 7:00 PM EST - Newark, NJ
TV: CSN Philly HD, MSG Plus 2
Radio: 610 WIP
This is the open game thread.
Behind Enemy Lines: In Lou We Trust
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Now is the time for this team to decide who they are.  Sitting at .500, fourth in the division, and looking up at the majority of the conference is bad.  Having to play in New Jersey, in Boston, and in Pittsburgh in the next four days makes it bleak.  Now is when this team either turns it around or packs it in.

I'm not much of one to say our season can be made or broken in December - and they are still a mere 3 points out of the 8th and final spot, with 2 games in hand - but this is a pivotal week for the Flyers.  A mini-roadtrip begins against three of the top five teams in the conference tonight in New Jersey.  Which Flyers team shows up - the team that is 1-6 in their last seven, or the aggressive, confident team that beat the Islanders on Tuesday?

The Flyers enter tonight having beaten the Devils twice so far this season already, but the team has gone just 3-9 since.  That night, the Flyers avoided having the Devils tie an NHL record for most consecutive road wins.  Tonight, Martin Brodeur tries to eclipse Terry Sawchuk and stand alone atop the NHL shutout leaders.  Hopefully, that doesn't happen.

It won't be easy for the Flyers though:  the Devils are giving up a mere 2.20 goals against per game this year.  With a struggling offense that has been shutout three times in its last six contests, that isn't good news.  The Devils only have the 14th ranked PK unit though, so the power play - why they beat the Islanders and one big reason they lost to the Senators - appears to be crucial yet again.

After the jump, line combinations, starting goaltenders, and questions to answer.

Flyers Line Combinations - no changes from Thursday

Hartnell - Richards - Giroux
JVR - Carter - Briere
Laperriere - Pyorala - Asham
Nodl - Kalinski - Laliberte

Starting Goaltenders -


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Brian Boucher 10 533 3 6 21 2.36 231 210 .909 0



GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Martin Brodeur 28 1681 19 8 61 2.18 751 690 .919 2


Questions to Answer

  1. Does this team come out ready to play?
  2. Can they get a 60 minute effort?
  3. Will the special teams do their job?
  4. Can Brian Boucher continue his stellar play?
  5. Is it possible to win two in a row in New Jersey?

Join us here for the game, and hopefully we have something to cheer about.

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