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Series at a glance: Philadelphia-New Jersey playoff preview

Apr 27, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

Briere Brodeur


All times Eastern; *if necessary

Game 1: Sunday, April 29 at Philadelphia 3 p.m. (NBC, CBC)
Game 2: Tuesday, May 1 at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, CBC)
Game 3: Thursday, May 3 at New Jersey 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, CBC)
Game 4: Sunday, May 6 at New Jersey 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, CBC)
Game 5: *Tuesday, May 8 at Philadelphia, TBD
Game 6: *Thursday, May 10 at New Jersey, TBD
Game 7: *Saturday, May 12 at Philadelphia, TBD

Three storylines to follow

1. Philly’s flying offense. The Flyers scored 30 goals in their six-game ousting of Pittsburgh, highlighted by Claude Giroux (6G-8A) coming within one point of Tim Kerr’s franchise record for most points (15) in a series. Four other Flyers — Danny Briere, Jakub Voracek, Jaromir Jagr and Brayden Schenn — averaged at least a point a game and 12 different players scored goals. That, folks, is a dynamic offensive attack.

2. The ageless wonder. After getting yanked in Game 3 of the Florida series, 39-year-old Martin Brodeur turned back the clock. He proceeded to stop 113 of his next 119 shots faced and came up huge as the Devils faced elimination, stopping 14 of 16 in Game 6 and 43 of 45 in Thursday’s double-overtime Game 7. Brodeur finished the series with a 2.06 GAA and .922 save percentage, his best numbers in years.

3. Blueline woes. The Flyers will start this series without the services of Andrej Meszaros and Nicklas Grossman (and were already without Chris Pronger). That, combined with a largely ineffective Pavel Kubina, forced Philly to essentially roll with five defenseman in Game 6 against Pittsburgh — Brayden Coburn, Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen, Erik Gustafsson and Andreas Lilja — with Coburn logging a game-high 29:27.


No. 5 Philadelphia: 47-26-9, 103 points (3rd in Atlantic) | No. 6 New Jersey: 48-28-6, 102 points (4th in Atlantic).

Leading playoff scorers

Philadelphia: Claude Giroux (6G-8A-14PTS) | New Jersey: Travis Zajac (3G-3A-6PTS)

Starting goalies

Philadelphia: Ilya Bryzgalov (4-2, 3.89 GAA) | New Jersey: Martin Brodeur (4-2, 2.06 GAA)


Series tied 3-3-0

Oct. 8: Philadelphia 3, at New Jersey 0
Nov. 3: New Jersey 4, at Philadelphia 3, SO
Jan. 21: Philadelphia 4, at New Jersey 1
Feb. 4: New Jersey 6, at Philadelphia 4
Mar. 11: At New Jersey 4, Philadelphia 1
Mar. 13: At Philadelphia 3, New Jersey 0

Playoff history

Tied 2-2.

1995: New Jersey 4-2 (Eastern Conference finals)
2000: New Jersey 4-3 (Eastern Conference finals)
2004: Philadelphia 4-1 (Eastern Conference quarterfinals)
2010: Philadelphia 4-1 (Eastern Conference quarterfinals)

2012 playoffs

Philadelphia: Def. Pittsburgh 4-2 (EC quarters) | New Jersey: Def. Florida 4-3 (EC quarters)

2011 playoffs

Philadelphia: Def. Buffalo 4-3 (EC quarters), lost to Boston 4-0 (EC semis) | New Jersey: Did not qualify

Stanley Cups

Philadelphia: Two (1974, 1975) | New Jersey: Three (1995, 2000, 2003)


Philadelphia: Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Marc-Andre Bourdon (upper body), Andrej Meszaros (back), Chris Pronger (concussion) | New Jersey: Jacob Josefson (wrist), Henrik Tallinder (leg)

  1. devilsfan54 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    The Flyers record is inaccurate. They were not; 51-25-6, 108 points but in fact, 47-26-9, 103 points. I also may be wrong but I believe Brodeur was 4-3 not 4-2.

    • delsj - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      You are correct that is the Penguins record not the Flyers. However, Brodeur did not lose Game 3 since he gave up 3 goals and the Devils wound up scoring 3.

    • Mike Halford - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Yes, flyers’ record has since been fixed. It’s hard looking at lines of numbers for hours on end….sometimes they all start to blur into each other.

      Brodeur went 4-2 as Hedberg was tagged for the loss in the game Marty got yanked.

  2. tackledummy1505 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Will probably be another all out war for the Flyers. This will either help us prepare for the Stanley Cup or be our downfall for injuries and such. I have no idea who is going to win this series though. I guess that all rides on how well Brodeur plays really. Should be another great one though.

  3. eaglesfan723 - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    “The Flyers will start this series without the services of Andrej Meszaros and Nicklas Grossman”
    I would say there is a good chance Meszaros will start the series and more than likely Grossman will start. Either way, the Flyers are getting healthy and makes them even more dangerous. The Flyers are too deep and their powerplay is deadly and one of the best in the league. If they can beat the Penguins..bye bye Devils. I may sound like a homer but I the FLyers winning this in 5 Games with Brodeur stealing one.

    • dsd3 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      I don’t think Meszaros will be starting the series. He’s not that close to returning, but Grossmann is likely to play in game 1.

      • melonheadsdaddy - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        dsd3 i agree. Its going to be a wild ride….I love all the rivalries. Makes for AWESOME hockey…Every team flyers will face from here on out is within a 100 mile radius of Philadelphia…Best of luck Jersey…Bryz….THE TIME IS NOW

    • chizmo - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      You do sound like a homer… The Pens D was mud the entire series. Devils won’t be quite as easy to get by. NJ will trap with a lead, where the Pens refused to adjust and ultimately gave up a ton of scoring chances. Will be interesting to see how PHI responds to a team actually playing some defense.

      If Jersey can put pressure on the shaky looking Bryz, they may end up taking this one in 5 themselves. The goalie battle will be huge in this series. Wouldn’t look for the Flyers to score anywhere near the clip they were on during Rd. 1.

      You can save this and rub it in my face if the Flyers pull out a win.

      • eaglesfan723 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        I agree the Pens D was piss poor last series but I don’t think you are giving the Flyers offense the credit it deserves. Yes the Devils will be harder to score on but they should still be going hard at the net and getting plenty of shots.

        I like the Flyers chances against the Devils D and I like the Flyers defense now getting healtheir against their offense. Like I said, the Devils might take 1 from the Flyers…bout that’s about it.

        You can save this and rub it in my face if the Flyers lose.

  4. bearsnbills - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Flyers could play down a man for the entire series and they will still sweep in 4.

    • melonheadsdaddy - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      you obviously know nothing about the rivalries between the the remaining eastern conference teams..or fail to realize that PLAYOFF hockey is different from the rest of the games already played….this is going to be a slugfest. I still think Philly wins but it will take at least 6 games..

  5. mclovinhockey - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Ugh, not a team I wanted to face this year. This will go to 7, hopefully Philly can take it. Funny to say but this team is a much harder matchup than the pens. As for the devils, pretty much playing a very similar team as the cats just with a few steps higher in skill. These two teams are very opposite teams. A battle of offense vs defense.

  6. holtbeast - Apr 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Can’t wait to watch Giroux again in this series. Glad the Devils are there to tire him out a bit before the Caps meet the Flyers in the conference finals.

  7. GenoPringles - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    1975-ooouuucchhh. Go Devils!!!!

    • danphipps01 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Ah. So Gollum finally emerges from his cave. Had a question I’ve been meaning to ask you – how’s the golfing in Pittsburgh?

      • tcclark - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        He’s too young to golf…. more like how’s the lotion and his mom’s JC Penny catalog

    • melonheadsdaddy - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      hey geno-




    • ml3939 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Hey geno, your mom called. She said stop playing doctor with your 6 year old brother and go to your room.

    • ml3939 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Geno, she called again. She said put the peanut butter away and leave the dog alone.

  8. dsd3 - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    A bit of a lazy article, IMO. First off, Grossmann is likely to play in Game 1, according to the Flyers beat writers.

    Secondly, you might want to add that Ilya Bryzgalov started 3 out of the 6 games vs. NJ, with a record of 3-0, with two shutouts, .987 save %, and .29 GAA. All three losses came when Bobrovsky started.

  9. drewzducks - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    In a totally unrelated story am I the only one who was a little freaked out with the sudden appearance of all these Farmersonly dating commercials? I mean Ashley Madison? No brainer. Christian singles? Ok I get that. But the way those cows were ogling that poor lonely farmer girl was a bit disturbing. Again I could see if it was a Calgary Edmonton matchup but really?


    • lasallehockey81 - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      1) yes you are the only one.

      2) This is the second story you posted this on. I’m hoping this is some kind of weird advertising to get people to actually look at what you’re talking about bc I can’t believe someone actually cares as much as you seem to.

      • drewzducks - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Thank you for my commission bonus.

      • lasallehockey81 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        I still don’t know what ad you’re talking about and honestly don’t care… Just wanted to let you know you’re the only one since you seem REALLY concerned being as though you’re writing the same thing over and over on the site.

  10. num1eaglesfanyo - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    GenoPringles you little douche bag where have you been? What happened to the pens master plan of a come back? Stop trolling and go catch up on your figure skating. Lets Go Flyers!

  11. martysbetter - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Going to be a tough series, but I’m excited for this one. The Devils have been underdogs all season long, they strive on it, they seem to put it into another gear against top teams – and often play down to lesser squads.

    It all comes down to the goalies, Bryz was horrific in the series against the Pens – his mediocrity was shadowed only by Fluery’s ineffectiveness.

    Marty came up huge in game 7, but there will always be questions going forward considering his age.

    I think its going to be a lot closer than people are predicting.

  12. dembois - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Flyers take the series in 3 games

  13. tcclark - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Bryz wasn’t that bad last series. I don’t know what everyone is talking about. They were playing the best offense with an undermanned defense.

    Yes he gave up a lot of Goals, but he really didn’t let in a lot of softies. Pittsburgh scored some really nice goals and Bryz made some really nice saves. Everyone was praising him after his performance in game one and i remember after game 2 one of the commentators said that that was the best 5 goal performance he’s seen from a goalie.

    if you take away the game 4 disaster which wasn’t really his fault considering Bob was just as bad, he gave up 17 goals in 5 games. That’s an average of 3.4 goals per game. The Penguins averaged 3.33 goals per game this year without Crosby for much of the season. Are you going to tell me that with Crosby in the line-up, playing a defensive rotation that is depleted with injuries, playing their biggest rival in the NHL playoffs, that the penguins are only .07 goals per game better? No. The Penguins have an extremely potent offense and Bryz performed really well considering the circumstances. If you want to say that the defense is hurt, fine, but can we stop with the “terrible goaltending” comments?

    • somekat - Apr 27, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      No, they can’t stop with them. It is the Flyers, those will be the comments regardless.

      I remember 10 years or so the Flyers lost a series to Ottowa. They literally did not lose a game that they scored more than 1 goal. But goaltending was blamed as the problem

    • lasallehockey81 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Look I’m a Flyers fan and appreciate the spin you’re putting on it, but he wasnt good at all in that series. If not for the offense and Fluery being even worse, the Flyers wouldn’t have made it out of the first round. Bryz gave up some horrendous goals at even more horrendous times, like the Sullivan goal at the beginning of the 3rd in game 2, the Stall goal in game 3, and that “icing” goal with 30 seconds or so left in a period. Any one of those goals are a potential KILLER against a respectable defense like the Rangers. He wasnt brought here and paid 51 mil to play acceptable, he got that contact to play like he did the last month or so. What you saw last series was first half of the season Bryz, which isn’t going to cut it if you want a cup. You’re not going to be able to score your way to the finals, so he has to be a lot better going forward,

      • tcclark - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        I disagree. He wasn’t bad. He just had a couple of bad bounces and he was playing a really good team.

        Sullivan didn’t score in game 2. The goal at the beginning of the 3rd was by Tyler Kennedy and it was a pretty decent shot, but i would agree that it was probably his softest goal of the series.

        Staal scored twice in game three so I’m gonna assume you meant the one that popped out of bryz’s pads and staal shoved in for a goal. That is in no way bryz’s fault. He did his job. He made the save, he controlled the rebound, and he got back into position when he didn’t know where the puck was. Unfortunately, by getting back up, the puck flipped out of his pads and went to the open part of the net where staal put it in. That is on the defense if it’s on anyone. Someone shouldve been on staal and cleared the puck before he got there. But really that was just an unlucky bounce.

        The “icing” goal was another unlucky bounce. Tell me what he could’ve done with that. He made the save, the puck bounced up, he tried to bat it out of mid-air, which he would’ve done had (i think) grossman not almost run into him.

        The Kennedy goal was soft, but the other two were just bad luck. The difference between first half bryz and that bryz was that, yes, they both let in a lot of goals, but this bryz did it against the best offense, while that bryz did it against Winnipeg…. twice.

      • lasallehockey81 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        It’s cool you disagree though there are alot of analysts that dont. My point is he has to be a lot better to win a cup, good offense or not, because theyre all “good teams” from here on out. I’ll agree he got better at the end of the series, especially in game 6. But to blame it all on bounces is an excuse. The timing of the weak goals he let in was terrible. The Stall goal came right after the Flyers scored and I’ll disagree with you when you said he did his job. His jobs to stop the puck and control a rebound. He did one of those two things when he lost the pick in his equipment then gets up with no clue where it is. You can’t have goals like that go in this time of year. Period. He played well enough to win a series where the other goalie just happened to be worse. With the names left, that prob won’t happen again.

    • dsd3 - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      @tcclark: I agree with you. Bryz wasn’t great, but he had his moments.

      First of all, he did not let in any softies in Game 1, and managed to keep them in the game when it was 3-0 to enable that big OT comeback.

      Game two he was also pretty decent. That monstrous glove save on Letang was a game-changer, allowing them to keep it a 3-1 game and mount another great comeback.

      He also had some bad games like game 3 and 4. But he played very well in games 5 and 6.

      The Pens were always going to score a lot of goals on any goalie. I thought Bryz did fine. He wasn’t perfect, but he was better than people realize when they just look at the numbers.

      • tcclark - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        you’re absolutely right. I’m not saying he was great, but he did well considering the circumstances. With a healthy defense and an easier opponent, he would’ve looked great.

    • obamablowz - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      Bryz didn’t play that bad? I stopped after that sentence because you obviously didn’t watch the games. The Philidelphia announcers were even saying “Bryz has to stop that” first 3 games.

      • tcclark - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        well you should’ve kept reading. Even his numbers weren’t that bad for playing the Penguins. I’m not gonna explain it again, just read the original post.

      • odj810 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        forget numbers and stats. It’s the eye ball test. That series the goal tending was terrible. Each tender had a few great saves but goals went in that should not go in and plenty of them. these are NHL goalies were talking about. If the flyers are going to win the cup He has to play better. It wasn’t the worst performance by any means but you can’t win like that. I will say the defense was horrendous. Open guys in front all day. But you can only blame the “bounces so much”. Still like the flyers in this series and expect a mild bounce back from Mr. Universe.

  14. GenoPringles - Apr 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    1975….could women even vote back then?

    • dsd3 - Apr 28, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      1975, that’s the same number of power play goals the Flyers scored on your Penguins in the first round of the playoffs! What a strange coincidence.

  15. rhwillson9587 - Apr 27, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Good question, i’ll be sure to ask your mom tonight Geno.

  16. eagleschic - Apr 27, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    I think the reason the Flyers will win this series Is because of their power play . The Devils had the 2nd worst penalty killing percentage only behind the Penguins in this postseason. And the Flyers power is much better than the Panthers, with a lot more scoring depth. Bryz has played very well against the Devils this year. Only games they lost were games Bob was in net.

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