Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1
#7 Philadelphia Flyers at #2 New Jersey Devils
Series tied at 0-0
Prudential Center - 7:30 PM ET - Newark, NJ
TV: CSN Philly HD, MSG Plus, TSN, RIS -- no national TV in USA
Radio: 610 WIP (internet stream here), XM 207, SIRIUS 218
Get the New Jersey perspective at In Lou We Trust
Remember last year when the Flyers opened the postseason with a dud? They came back in that first round series with the Penguins, coming frustratingly close to a game seven, in fact. But getting behind the eight ball in the first game of the series ultimately did them in. They couldn't overcome it.
I don't want to say that the Flyers need a win in game one to have a chance against the Devils this time around, but it would help a hell of a whole lot. For starters, the Flyers need to steal a game on the road. Home-ice edge goes right to the good guys in that scenario. That's the obvious reason.
But think about the storyline coming out of a game one Flyers win. That 1-5 record versus the Flyers the Devils are trying to dispel? Suddenly, they can't do that anymore. The pressure will be completely, 100 percent on New Jersey.
To get the win, the Flyers will need to control the tempo right out of the gate. It's something they've done really well against the Devils so far this season and in order to win, they need to keep the puck in the Devils end for the majority of the game. Generate shots, generate chances and prove to the Devils that the Philly offense is here to stay.
The Devils don't take a lot of penalties, but when you control the play and dictate the pace, it's easy to get any team off of their game. If the Flyers can do that and if they can get on the power play often, it'll go a long way toward the overall goal here. Dan Carcillo has to continue to be smart and I suspect he will. Scott Hartnell has to start getting smart, and he's not such a safe bet. Let's hope for the best.
Different stuff for the playoffs: preview is separate from the open game thread. That'll go live tonight 60 minutes before puck drop at 6:30 PM, and it'll include the questions to answer and the starting lineups. In the meantime, pre-game here. LET'S GO FLYERS!