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Flyers vs. Devils preview: Apparently, this is worthy of a national TV audience

The 2013 Flyers are the 2013 Flyers, and the Devils haven't won this month. So let's put it on national TV in two countries! Good idea!

Richard Wolowicz

Somehow, someway, this game is on national television. Beats the shit out of me how. The Flyers are ... well, you know the 2013 Philadelphia Flyers all too well, and the New Jersey Devils haven't won a hockey game SINCE MARCH 23. The defending Eastern Conference Champions have lost 10 straight games.

New Jersey Devils (15-17-10, 40) at Philadelphia Flyers (19-21-3, 41)
7:30 p.m. | Wells Fargo Center | South Philadelphia
TV: CSN Philly, NBCSN, MSG+, TSN | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic
Get the New Jersey perspective at In Lou We Trust

Sounds like a game the whole country wants to watch!

So what the hell has gone wrong with the New Jersey Devils? Well, goal scoring, mostly. They've scored just 16 goals in these 10 games and that includes a pair of four-goal losses to Boston and Tampa Bay. Coming into tonight's game, they've been shut out in two straight, and here's how In Lou We Trust looks at it:

They're not just getting shots, but very good looks. If they keep getting them, then they'll eventually go in. Patrik Elias, David Clarkson, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique, and so forth haven't forgotten how to play hockey in the last two months. The goal(s) they'll need to win won't happen if they stop trying. You probably know this but it must be written anyway.

Also, they're without Ilya Kovalchuk. The Devils' best player has missed the last 10 games and I'm going to take a guess and say it isn't a complete coincidence that they've lost every single game without him. Sure, you'd expect them to at least get a bounce or two without him, but there's a pretty clear line of demarcation between when Kovalchuk went down with a shoulder injury and when the Devils started losing.

The team was hoping they'd get him back today and he's been skating, but he didn't make the trip down to Philadelphia. Good news for the Flyers, bad news for the Devils.

Ilya Bryzgalov will be in goal for the Flyers this evening as Peter Laviolette continues to go back and forth between he and Steve Mason. Not really surprising at all, nor is it something I think we should read into one way or the other.

Hey, if the Flyers win in regulation and the Panthers beat the Rangers in regulation, the Flyers are just three points out of the eighth seed! <yawn>

Questions to Answer

  1. Can the Flyers keep the Devils off the board?
  2. Considering that Bryz is in net and the Devils can't score for their lives, how does that impact the ongoing narrative regarding the Flyers goalie situation?
  3. In reality, how does Bryzgalov play?
  4. The offense has come for the Flyers in the last two games. Does that continue?