Game 58, Preview and Game Thread: Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils

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#8 Philadelphia Flyers (29-25-3, 61 pts) at #2 New Jersey Devils (36-20-2, 74 pts)
Prudential Center - 7:00 PM ET - Newark, NJ
TV: CSN Philly HD, MSG Plus HD
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 204
This is the open game thread.
Get New Jersey reaction at In Lou We Trust
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While there might only be about nine fans at the game tonight in Newark thanks to the snow, the Philadelphia Flyers are successfully in the building and the game tonight will go on. Michael Leighton will be in net yet again for the Flyers and Ville Leino will not play. Again.

Over at SBN's In Lou We Trust, they're still a little miffed about Jeff Carter's hit on Anssi Salmela the other night. Here's Steve Lepore of ILWT, directing Devils fans to our coverage of the game tonight.

... once again the guys at Broad Street Hockey should have some far-fetched defense for why Jeff Carter didn't even get a fine for that hit when even Colin White got a fine for that hit on Long Island good Flyer-centric material leading up to the game.

We won't touch that, but it's at least worth mentioning. Must be some pro-Flyers bias in those league offices, am I right?

On to the game, the Flyers will need to be better than they were on Monday night against these same Devils. They've been playing mediocre hockey for the better part of the last month or so up in New Jersey, but coach Jacques Lemaire had a nice, long chat with his team yesterday and they focused on what their major problems have been.

Ilya Kovalchuk has yet to score for the Devils, despite nine shots on Tuesday night. Most of them came courtesy of a whopping 11-plus minutes of power play time. It appears that they're kind of forcing the issue and trying to get Kovalchuk the puck simply too often, which you'd think means that it'lll be easier for the Flyers to defend on the penalty kill.

Regardless, though, the Flyers cannot afford to take penalties at will again tonight because it's only a matter of time before Kovalchuk pots a few of those. The Flyers also have to get solid goaltending from Leighton again tonight and the offense will have to, you know, not disappear again. Basic stuff, really. We all know what this team has to do. It's just a matter of them doing it.

After the jump, expected line combinations, starting goaltenders, questions to answer and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

Gagne - Richards - Carcillo
Hartnell - Carter - Briere
JVR - Giroux - Asham
Powe - Betts - Laperriere

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Krajicek
Bartulis - Coburn

New Jersey Line Combinations

Parise - Zajac - Langenbrunner
Kovalchuk - Zubrus - Elias
Pandolfo - Niedermayer - Rolston
Peters - McAmmond - Leblond

Salvador - Greene
Mottau - White
Davison- Fraser

Starting Goaltenders


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
 Michael Leighton 22 1182 10 7 56 2.84 579 523 .903 1


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
Martin Brodeur 55 3201 33 19 121 2.27 1466 1345 .917 7


Questions To Answer

  1. Can the Flyers stay out of the penalty box?
  2. Will the Flyers avoid falling to an early deficit tonight?
  3. Can they stop Kovalchuk... again?
  4. Any revenge for Jeff Carter's hit on Anssi Salmela?
  5. Sticking with Carter, how's he play after being notified that he'll have to head to Vancouver in case Ryan Getzlaf can't take part in the Olympics?
  6. How many people are in the building tonight in the midst of this blizzard?

Tonight's game is back with JJ on CSN Philly and on the radio at 610 WIP. As always, join us here for the conversation and LET'S GO FLYERS!

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