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ECQF Game 2: Devils squeak out offensive battle, a sentence you won't hear everyday

After a tight defensive battle in Game 1, Game 2 was totally offensive in all sorts of ways.

After Ryan Parent turned over the puck several times behind the net on one shift, Zach Parise and Dainius Zubrus hit the puck past Brian Boucher simultaneously to give the Devils their game-winning fourth with only 4:04 remaining in the third period.

There are plenty of reasons the Flyers lost, but the biggest is almost certainly their lack of success on the power play. The Devils were a man down seven times, a hugely uncharacteristic number, but the Flyers only cashed in twice, and negated one of those with a shorthanded goal against. Hartnell has definitely overstayed his welcome on that unit, whereas Pronger's new presence down in the slot is amazingly awesome and should be continued.

A few more thoughts on the Game 2 loss:

  • Brian Boucher was often spectacular, and only one goal (the second) can be blamed on him fairly. Despite the loss, I'd say he outdueled Brodeur again, as ol' Marty looked completely out of position several times, including a ridiculous beach ball-sized five-hole on the Flyers' second goal.
  • As far as skaters go, Claude Giroux, Arron Asham, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger were all very good. Everybody else, not so much.
  • Ryan Parent is not very good. And pairing him with Bartulis in the late stages of the third is a recipe for disaster.
  • This was not a typical performance by the Devils at all. They took an obscene number of penalties, and played a fairly run-and-gun style throughout.
  • No one breaks as many sticks in crucial late game situations as Jeff Carter. No one. He needs to do something about that.
  • Thanks to the Kovalchuk empty netter, this was the first game of the 2010 playoffs that had more than a one-goal differential. With the win, Kovalchuk's career playoff record improves to 1-5.

Split achieved, which is good. More would have been better, but the Flyers still have the upper hand in this series. Here's hoping that hand turns into a fist and pummels the Devils early and often back at the Wach.

After the jump, questions answered and a comment of the night.

Questions Answered:

  1. Can the Flyers establish a fore check early on? No, the Devils controlled at the outset. The momentum went back and forth
  2. Will the Flyers cut back on the penalties? Yes, and the Devils did the opposite.
  3. Does the defense play as well as it did on Wednesday? Not at all.
  4. Ilya Kovalchuk was clearly trying to do too much in Game 1 and he frustrated himself in the process, getting off of his game. Can the Flyers frustrate him some more tonight? Yes. He's a fairly angry dude, that Kovalchuk.
  5. More BOOOOSH excellence? Yep, but not enough.
  6. Is the Parent for Krajicek swap a smart one? No, not at all. Parent was totally to blame for the GWG.

Comment of the Night:

Did you hear all those Devils fans cheering sarcastically as if they were glad the Flyers scored? --HuckNZ

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