Game 76, Preview and Game Thread: New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers

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#2 New Jersey Devils (44-25-5, 93 pts) at #8 Philadelphia Flyers (37-32-5, 79 pts)
Wachovia Center - 7:00 PM ET - Philadelphia, PA
TV: CSN Philly HD, MSG Plus
Radio: 610 WIP, XM 207
This is the open game thread.
Get the New Jersey perspective at In Lou We Trust

If there's one thing that's consistent with the Flyers this season, it's that turning points have come in games against the New Jersey Devils. There was the solid win back on Dave Schultz Night, where the Flyers beat the Devils before leaving on that horrible West Coast road trip. There were two of the last games before the Olympic break, where the Flyers won a home-and-home on the front of a four-game win streak. After the break, things fell apart.

Could tonight be another turning point?

The Flyers have had a lot of success against the Devils this season, compiling a 4-1 record on the season thus far. In the final meeting between the two teams this regular season, though, a win today could prove much more important than any of those others. Losing four straight in four different ways, the Flyers are just two points away from the outside of the playoff picture.

Wins are necessary. Now.

Brian Boucher will get the start in goal again tonight after Johan Backlund pulled his groin yesterday in Pittsburgh. It doesn't really matter who's in goal, however, when the team can't score a goal. Everybody from Mike Richards to Danny Briere to Darroll Powe is in the midst of a goal-scoring drought right now, and it really couldn't have come at a worse time.

In order for the Flyers to win, players are going to have to become visible again. Players are going to have to put the puck in the net. That's the only way to get out of this slump and it has to happen now, or the Flyers are going to miss the playoffs and heads are gonna (maybe) roll.

It's Fan Appreciation Night at the Wachovia Center. Let's hope we're not making jokes about that all night. After the jump, questions to answer, lineups, goalies and our in-game discussion.

Flyers Line Combinations

Hartnell – Richards – Carcillo
Gagne – Briere – Leino
van Riemsdyk – Giroux – Powe
Laperriere – Betts – Asham

Pronger - Carle
Timonen - Bartulis
Parent - Coburn

Guessing Krajicek is scratched with Carle back.

New Jersey  Line Combinations

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

Martin - Skoula
White - Mottau
Greene - Salvador

Starting Goaltenders

Brian Boucher 26 1338 5 15 65 2.91 609 544 .893 0

Martin Brodeur 69 4030 41 23 157 2.34 1820 1663 .914 7

Questions to Answer

  1. Can somebody -- anybody -- score a goal? Give us a spark? Please?
  2. Martin Brodeur has looked shaky against the Flyers more than a few times this season. Tonight?
  3. How's Matt Carle look in his first game back?
  4. Do the Flyers play with the urgency necessary in this situation?

CSN and WIP. Join us for the conversation, and LET'S GO FLYERS!

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