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ECQ Game Five Live Game Blog: Flyers Lead Devils, 3-0, In The Third Period

April 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The Flyers lead the Devils, 3-0, in the second period of tonight’s game five of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Prudential Center.

Giroux’s second goal, on the powerplay, at 13:51 of the period put the Flyers ahead by three.

With Dean McAmmond in the box for high-sticking, Briere let go a shot from the point. Scott Hartnell, who was screening Brodeur, was hit with the shot on the crease. The puck game to Giroux, who fired a low shot into the empty net for his second goal of the game.

Giroux’s first goal of the period at 11:48 extended the Flyers lead to two.

Blair Betts made took the initial shot, which Brodeur stopped. But the Devils couldn’t clear the rebound, and the puck sat loose in the crease. Giroux one-timed the puck over Brodeur’s glove and into the top corner for his third goal of the series.

Daniel Briere scored a powerplay goal at 3:16 of the first period to give the Devils a lead.

With Jamie Langenbrunner in the box for tripping, Claude Giroux held the puck in the Devils’ zone. He passed the puck to Briere in the left circle, but the puck skipped off Briere’s skate and between the pads of Martin Brodeur’s pads for Briere’s second goal of the series.

The Devils have played pretty well, and here in the second period, they’ve done everything but put the puck in the net. They’ve had two powerplay opportunities, and Zach Parise hit the post from in close on the second opportunity. They currently lead the shot total, 4-0.

Colin White took the second Devils penalty in the offensive zone tonight. Not only that, but it was the second time a Devil ended the team’s powerplay. Langenbrunner ended the Devils first opportunity with his tripping penalty in the offensive zone. That’s helped the Devils go 0-for-5 tonight with the man advantage.

The Devils were outshot, 10-9, in the first period.

The Devils had some quality opportunities in the first period, but weren’t able to convert. They tested Boucher a bit, but not enough to make a huge difference.

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Here were tonight’s starting lineups:

Flyers:

Daniel Carcillo-Mike Richards-Claude Giroux; Matt Carle-Chris Pronger; Brian Boucher

Devils:

Ilya Kovalchuk-Travis Zajac-Dainius Zubrus; Paul Martin-Andy Greene; Martin Brodeur

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The Flyers come into tonight’s game leading the series, 3-1, and can wrap up the series with a win. The Devils are looking to avoid elimination in the first round for the third consecutive season.

Martin Brodeur is on attempt number three to win his 100th playoff game. Patrick Roy leads all goaltenders with 151 career playoff victories.

ECQ Game Four Live Game Blog: Carter’s Second Goal Increases Flyers Lead, 4-1, In The Third Period

April 20, 2010 2 comments

Carter’s second goal of the game at 9:28 of the third period extended the Flyers lead, 4-3, in game four of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight at the Wachovia Center.

With both Bryce Salvador and Jamie Langenbrunner in the box, the Flyers held the puck in the zone. Ian Laperriere fired a shot on net, and Carter deflected home the shot for his second goal of the series.

Carter left the ice gingerly after the goal. No word on his injury.

Gagne, who left in the second period after blocking a shot, will not return to tonight’s game.

Before the game, Brodeur said tonight’s game would show what the Devils were made of. I wonder what their performance tonight will tell him.

Carcillo’s goal at  4:10 of the third period extends the Flyers lead over the Devils, 3-1.

Carcillo began the play, hitting Colin White behind the net to jar the puck loose. Carcillo curled to the side boards, and put a shot on net that beat Brodeur through the pads for his second goal of the series.

Facing a two-goal deficit, the Devils haven’t done anything to help their cause. They’ve taken three minor penalties in the first ten minutes, including giving the Flyers a 5-on-3 opportunity at 8:13 of the third.

Brier’s four-on-four goal at 17:27 of of the second period put the Flyers ahead, 2-1.

With Matt Carle and Zajac in the box, Briere came down the ice with Coburn on a 2-on-2. Coburn sent a pass to Briere on the left side. Briere shot the puck from the side boards that beat Brodeur over the glove for his first goal of the series.

Jeff Carter’s powerplay goal at 9:08 tied the game at one.

With Niedermayer in the box for interference, Daniel Briere held the puck in the Devils zone. He passed the puck to Carter, who was coming out from behind the net. Carter skated the puck through the right circle, and released a slap shot that beat Brodeur for his first goal of the series.

The Flyers outshot the Devils, 12-8, in the second period. The Devils lead the overall shot category, 20-19.

It’s also been one of those games for the Devils. After talking about how they needed to improve their powerplay, the Devils came out buzzing with their first few opportunities. But they’ve settled back into their familiar play, holding the puck too long and not making things happen with aggressive play. They will begin the third period with 1:56 of powerplay time (James van Riemsdyk roughing minor with 4.6 seconds left in the second period), and it’s do or die time for the Devils.

The Devils had killed off the Flyer’s two previous powerplay attempts before the Carter goal. The Flyers’ have now scored a powerplay goal in each of the series’ five games.

Kovalchuk scored a powerplay goal at 12:24 of the first period to give the Devils the lead.

With both Braydon Coburn and Chris Pronger in the box, the Devils took advantage of a 5-on-3 powerplay. Zach Parise sent a pass up the ice, springing the Devils on a 4-on-2. Kovalchuk moved into the zone, and used a fake shot to freeze Blair Betts. Kovalchuk cut to the right circle and fired a shot on net that beat Brian Boucher for Kovalchuk’s second goal of the series.

The Devils are playing awful defense right now in the second period. The Flyers are getting some in-tight opportunities, and the Flyers have already put eight shots on net. The Devils are going to need to tighten it up if they expect to keep this lead.

Brodeur just saved the lead after a Devils’ turnover in the second period. With the Devils breaking out, Travis Zajac attempted a drop pass that was intercepted at the blue line. The Flyers’ moved in, with Daniel Carcillo in front. The puck went to the front, where Brodeur made the initial save. The puck trickled to the slot, where Simon Gagne fired a wrist shot. Brodeur, lying on his side, made the glove save to rob Gagne.

The Devils had a dicey penalty kill early in the second period. With Dainius Zubrus in the box for cross-checking, the Flyers kept the puck in the Devils’ zone for most of the advantage. They got some great opportunities, but Brodeur made the saves to keep the team ahead.

That Kovalchuk goal came from three-straight powerplay chances for the Devils, beginning with Richards’ penalty at 8:59 of the period. They had two 5-on-3 opportunities, but the first only lasted for six seconds.

Kovalchuk played a solid first period. After being held shotless, the left-winger put five shots on net, and almost had two goals in the period.

The Devils led the period in shots, 12-7.

Brodeur looked sharp in the first period. The Flyers put some solid pressure on net near the end of the period, including a 2-on-0 in front of the net. Brodeur made the saves to keep the Devils ahead, but the Devils are going to need to stay aggressive.

Ilya Kovalchuk almost gave the Devils an early lead. With Richards in the box for tripping, the Devils worked the puck to the point. Kovalchuk fired a shot on net that rang off the post.

Mike Richards had the game’s first scoring chance 2:44 into the first period. With Rob Niedermayer in the box for hooking, the Flyers controlled the puck in the Devils’ zone. The puck popped in the air behind the net, and Richards gloved it down. He came out from behind the net and put a backhanded shot on net that Martin Brodeur stopped.

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Here were tonight’s starting lineups:

Devils:

Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner; Paul Martin-Andy Greene; Martin Brodeur

Flyers:

Simon Gagne-Mike Richards-Daniel Carcillo; Matt Carle-Chris Pronger; Brian Boucher

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The Flyers defeated the Devils, 3-2, in overtime Sunday night. Philadelphia leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.

Martin Brodeur will start in net tonight for the Flyers. The Devils goalie is stuck on 99 career playoff victories, and one tonight would make him the second NHL goalie to reach the 100-goal playoff victory plateau. Patrick Roy leads all goalies with 151 playoff wins.

Philadelphia hasn’t been kind to Brodeur. He’s 0-4 in his last four playoff appearances in Philadelphia.

The Devils don’t fare well after losing game three. The team is only 3-13 after dropping a game three in the playoffs. Philadelphia, on the other hand, is 21-9 after winning game three.

Brian Boucher will start in net for the Flyers.

Jacques Lemaire will make one definite change tonight, re-inserting defenseman Martin Skoula. Skoula was a healthy scratch in game three. He takes the place of rookie Mark Fraser.

Here are, what I believe, are the line combinations (from Sunday night’s game):

Forwards: Zach Parise – Patrik Elias – Dainius Zubrus; Ilya Kovalchuk – Travis Zajac – Jamie Langenbrunner; Brian Rolston – Rob Niedermayer – David Clarkson; Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond – Dean McAmmond – Rod Pelley

Defense: Martin Skoula – Bryce Salvador; Mike Mottau – Colin White; Paul Martin – Andy Greene

Goalie: Martin Brodeur

Game Three Live Game Post: Devils, Flyers Tied, 2-2, In Overtime

April 18, 2010 Leave a comment

The Devils and Flyers are tied, 2-2, in overtime of the third game of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series at the Wachovia Center.

Brodeur continued his strong play at net, stoning Jeff Carter at 19:27 of the period. After a shot went to the front of the net, Carter tried to stuff the puck past Brodeur. Brodeur extended the left pad and made the save, keeping the Devils in the game.

The Flyers outshot the Devils, 12-3, in the third period and lead the overall shot category, 28-18.

The Flyers have absolutely been taking it to the Devils, outshooting them, 10-1, in the third period. The Devils haven’t recorded a shot on net in 10 minutes.

Brodeur has literally kept the Devils in this game. With the Devils pressing in the Flyers’ zone, Scott Hartnell tipped the puck to center ice. He beat Andy Greene and moved in on Brodeur with Danny Briere on a 2-on-1. He passed the puck to Briere on the left, who let go a shot from the low left circle. Brodeur slid across the crease and made the save.

Bryce Salvador also helped on the play, getting back and putting his stick on Briere’s to alter the shot.

Brodeur just became his best penalty killer, stopping three great Flyers’ chances on the powerplay at 10:12 of the third period. A shot from the point was re-directed by Giroux in front, and Brodeur went to the splits to make the save. The puck then trickled to the side of the net, where Gagne took control. Brodeur, sitting on the ice, made two saves with his glove before squeezing the puck to his pads for the stoppage in play.

The Devils, so far, are only 2-for-8 with the man advantage tonight. They’ve only managed six shots on net with their eight opportunities.

Rolston’s second powerplay goal of the game at 16:38 of the second period tied the game at two.

Kovalchuk set up along the side boards on the powerplay, where he received a pass from Elias. The left-winger sent a pass to Rolston at the point, and Rolston fired a one-timer on net. Zubrus screened Boucher, and the puck went through the skates and into the back of the net for Rolston’s second powerplay tally of the game.

Mike Richards gave the Flyers an early lead, 2-1, only 1:15 into the second period. Simon Gagne went behind the net, hitting Devils’ defenseman Mark Fraser and creating a turnover. Flyers’ forward Daniel Carcillo took the puck and sent it towards the goal. Richards chipped the puck over Brodeur for his second goal of the series.

The Flyers outshot the Devils, 8-5, in the first period.

The first period didn’t see much 5-on-5 action. The Devils went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Flyers went 1-for-2.

Claude Giroux tied the game at one apiece with his powerplay goal at 8:49 in the first period. With Matt Corrente in the box for high sticking, Timonen took a shot from the left point. Giroux, who snuck behind Colin White, deflected the puck past Martin Brodeur for his second goal of the series.

Brian Rolston’s first goal of the series gave the Devils an early 1-0 lead. With Kimmo Timonen in the box for hooking, Ilya Kovalchuk set up Rolston for a straight-on point shot. Rolston initially faked the pass, getting Ian Laperriere to slide down to the ice. Rolston blasted a shot low that went through a Dainius Zubrus screen and past Brian Boucher for his first goal of the series.

The Devils haven’t looked good on their first two powerplay chances tonight. They aren’t getting set up, and they can’t get any pressure on Boucher and the defense.

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Devils:

Brian Rolston-Rob Niedermayer-Jamie Langenbrunner; Colin White-Mike Mottau;  Martin Brodeur

Flyers:

Scott Hartnell-Jeff Carter-Danny Briere; Braydon Coburn-Kimmo Timonen; Brian Boucher

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Tonight’s scratches for the Devils are Jay Pandolfo, Vladimir Zharkov, Martin Skoula and Anssi Salmela

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Game three may be the penultimate game in the series for the Devils. When New Jersey wins game three, they are 13-3 all time. When they lose game three, they are 3-13.

Martin Brodeur attempts to become only the second goalie all-time to record 100 postseason victories. Patrick Roy is the all-time leader with 151 career postseason victories.

Game Two Live Game Blog: Kovalchuk’s Goal Extends Devils Lead, 5-3, In The Third Period

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Kovalchuk’s empty-net goal of the game with 32.9 seconds left in the third period extended the Devils lead over the Flyers, 5-3, in game two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight at the Prudential Center.

With Boucher on the bench for an extra attacker, Richards fanned on a shot from the point. Kovalchuk chased down the loose puck and carried it out to center ice. Jeff Carter broke his stick, and Kovalchuk sent a shot from above the blue line that went into the empty net for his first goal of these playoffs.

Parise’s second goal of the game at 15:56 of the third period put the Devils ahead of the Flyers, 4-3.

The first line did a great job of pinning the Flyers in their zone. Zubrus took the puck behind the net and skated out in front. He put a backhanded shot on net, and the rebound sat near the crease. Parise put the puck top-shelf for his second goal of the game.

Brodeur made a game-saving stop of Ian Laperriere at 11:10 of the third period. Daniel Carcillo stripped White of the puck in the Flyers offensive zone, and rushed up the ice. He drove the net, but his attempt was swatted away. The loose puck came to the side of the net, and Laperriere received a pass from a Flyer in front of the net. He tried to one-time the puck past Brodeur, but the Devils goalie stood tall and made the save.

The Devils just had their best chance of the period with the third line on the ice. Dean McAmmond, Rob Niedermayer and Brian Rolston kept the pressure on, and the point shots by Andy Greene and, eventually Dainius Zubrus gave Boucher fits. But the Devils couldn’t bury the puck.

So far, the Flyers have controlled the pace of play in the third period. They’ve already outshot the Devils, 4-0, and they’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the zone.

Chris Pronger’s powerplay goal at 18:48 of the second period pulled the Flyers even with the Devils, 3-3.

With the team’s playing 4-on-4 hockey, Greene took an interference penalty, giving the Flyers a 4-on-3 advantage. Richards and Kimmo Timonen played pitch and catch, looking for an opportunity to shoot. Timonen fired a shot from the top of the circles that Pronger deflected past Brodeur for his second goal of the playoffs.

Pronger spent considerable time in front of the net, and cut off the sightline of Brodeur.

After the Devils goal, they put some great pressure on Boucher. Boucher had to be strong, and made several nice saves on in-tight scoring attempts from the Devils.

Andy Greene’s powerplay goal at 13:25 put the Devils ahead, 3-2.

With Giroux in the box for hooking, Kovalchuk controlled the puck at the point. He passed the puck to Elias, who skated near the right sideboards. The left-winger held the puck, drawing two Flyers’ penalty killers towards him. Greene snuck down from the point and into the slot area, where Elias found him with a tape to tape pass. Greene one-timed a puck past Boucher for his first goal of these playoffs.

Before that goal, the Devils had to kill off three straight Flyers’ powerplays. While Philadelphia almost scored on their first opportunity of the period – a two-minute minor to Andy Greene for high-sticking – they didn’t get great opportunities with their other two advantages.

Kovalchuk has continually taken dumb penalties tonight. He’s been very aggressive, but he’s also been undisciplined. Kovalchuk was sent to the box after slashing Mike Richards at 7:54 of the period. After tangling with Darroll Powe during a false start, Powe interfered with Kovalchuk after the faceoff. Kovalchuk, clearly angered by the non-call, went after Richards, slashing him in the back of the leg and cross-checking him. While it didn’t cost the Devils on the powerplay, Kovalchuk will make his impact scoring and not being a “tough guy.”

The Devils tied the game at two with Colin White’s second career playoff goal at 3:44 in the second period.

After taking a pass from Kovalchuk, White took a low shot from the right circle that trickled through Boucher’s pads for his first goal of these playoffs. It was his first goal since scoring the only goal in a 1-0 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals (April 19, 2000).

The Devils outshot the Flyers, 11-7, after one period.

Claude Giroux gave the Flyers the lead, 2-1, with 4:30 in the first period.

With David Clarkson in the box for tripping, Matt Carle fired a shot from the point. Giroux deflected the puck through the pads of Brodeur for his first playoff goal this season.

That’s two goals on five shots for the Flyers, but neither has truly been Brodeur’s fault.

Former Devil Aaron Asham tied the game, 1-1, at 9:33 of the first period. Giroux skated from behind the net, bringing the puck to the left circle. Asham worked himself behind the Devils defense and fired the puck into the empty right-side of the net for his first goal of these playoffs.

Zach Parise gave the Devils an early lead, 1-0, with a shorthanded goal 2:45 into the game.

With Ilya Kovalchuk in the box for elbowing, Chris Pronger attempted to pass the puck to Matt Carle. Carle couldn’t handle the pass, and fanned on a shot attempt. Patrik Elias chased down the puck and sent a saucer pass to Parise, springing him free. Parise went to the backhand, roofing the puck over Boucher for his first goal of these playoffs.

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Here were the starting lineups:

Flyers:

Scott Hartnell-Jeff Carter-Danny Briere; Chris Pronger-Matt Carle; Brian Boucher

Devils:

Zach Parise-Patrik Elias-Dainius Zubrus; Bryce Salvador-Martin Skoula; Martin Brodeur

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Jay Pandolfo, Rod Pelley, Vladimir Zharkov and Anssi Salmela were the healthy scratches tonight for the Devils. Matt Corrente took Pelley’s position on the fourth line.

Game One Live Game Blog: Zajac Puts Devils On The Board, Flyers Lead, 2-1, In Third Period

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Travis Zajac’ss goal at 17:17 of the period puts cuts the Flyers lead, 2-1, in the third period of game one of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals tonight at the Prudential Center.

Andy Greene held the puck down low, and sent a pass to Zajac near the puck. The Devils center sent a shot toward the front of the net, where Parise screened Boucher. The puck hit Boucher’s pads and slipped behind the goalie for Zajac’s first goal of this postseason.

Chris Pronger and Mike Richards scored to put the Flyers ahead of the Devils, 2-0, in the second period.

The Flyers almost scored a second powerplay goal at 15:13 of the third period. Gagne took the puck in the offensive zone, and skated to the left circle. His wrist shot banged off the post for the near miss.

The Devils squandered an early opportunity to climb back into the game. With Oskars Bartulis in the box with a double-minor for high sticking at 2:12 of the third period, the Devils couldn’t generate much offense at all. They only recorded two scoring chances, and the Flyers made the Devils powerplay unit uncomfortable the entire time. The crowd began to boo the Devils effort near the end of the man advantage.

That futile play has summed up the Devils man-advantage play tonight. They haven’t been terrible, they’ve been awful. With the Flyers giving the Devils plenty of opportunities to get back into the game, the Devils have failed to take advantage.

It seems like Jacques Lemaire is switching the lines. Travis Zajac just centered Kovalchuk and Jamie Langenbrunner. David Clarkson had been skating with the first line of Zajac and Zach Parise earlier tonight.

The Flyers outshot the Devils, 8-6, in the second period. The Devils lead the total shots category, 15-12.

The Devils’ fans booed the home team as they went off the ice at the end of the period.

Richard’s goal at 16:27 of the second period extended the Flyers ahead, 2-0.

Ian Laperriere created the scoring chance, stripping Martin Skoula of the puck near the Devils zone. Laperriere carried the puck into the zone, and sent a spinning, 360 pass to Richards. Richards took a slapshot from the low slot that Brodeur seemed to get a piece of. The puck hit the cross bar and caromed over the line for Richards first goal of the postseason.

Pronger’s powerplay goal at 9:25 put the Flyers ahead, 1-0.

With Zubrus in the box for hooking, Simon Gagne controlled the puck near the goal line. Gagne sent the puck on net, where Brodeur made the initial save. The rebound came to the front of the crease, where Pronger took a backhanded whack at the puck. It bounced off Brian Rolston and into the net for Pronger’s first goal of the playoffs.

Pronger made an important play before the goal, racing across the blue line to help his team maintain possession of the puck.

Kovalchuk is getting some great scoring chances, including his latest missed chance. Kovalchuk took the puck in the defensive zone and raced up ice. He deked around three Flyers, and found himself near the left circle. The left-winger fired the puck high over Boucher for the missed chance, and punched the glass on his way to the bench.

Kovalchuk  has created five scoring chances tonight.

After controlling the pace of the play, the Flyers have really come alive in this period. It seems like the Devils are the team on their heels, and the only one creating anything has been Kovalchuk.

While the game has been scoreless, it seems like the Devils are controlling the pace of play. They’ve been able to pin Philadelphia in their zone and, while the Flyers have generated some good rushes and scoring chances, the Devils look to be more in control and have set their offense in motion.

Both teams have played physical, and right now, the Devils seem to be responding positively and giving the Flyers a bit of their own medicine.

The Devils outshot the Flyers, 9-4, in the first period.

Brian Boucher made a great glove save to rob Ilya Kovalchuk. Dainius Zubrus chased the puck down in the Flyers zone, and skated out from around behind the net. He sent a pass to the front, which was knocked down in front. The puck sat between the hash marks, and Kovalchuk let go a wrister. Boucher picked up the puck through a screen and made the glove save.

The Devils had a great penalty kill, which ended at 9:52 of the period. With Bryce Salvador in the box for hooking, the Devils penalty kill unit didn’t allow the Flyers to get set up. They controlled the zone, and the Devils were able to consistently send the puck down the ice. As soon as the kill ended, Zach Parise blew past Kimmo Timmonen, making the Flyers defenseman hook him and giving the Devils a man advantage.

One of the immediate themes that came from the opening minutes of play is the physical play. Both teams are throwing their weight around, and both have created turnovers and opportunities with the physical play.

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Here were tonight’s starting lineups:

Flyers:

Simon Gagne-Mike Richards-Daniel Carcillo; Chris Pronger-Matt Carle; Brian Boucher

Devils:

Brian Rolston-Rob Niedermayer-Jamie Langenbrunner; Paul Martin-Andy Greene; Martin Brodeur

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The Flyers hold the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Devils hold the second seed. The Flyers took five of six games from the Devils this season.

Martin Brodeur will start his 167th consecutive playoff game tonight. Brian Boucher will play in the postseason for the first time since 2000, his rookie season.

During pre-game warmups, Devils’ coach Jacques Lemaire hasn’t tipped his hands on the line combinations. The Devils’ have dressed 22 players, including Mark Fraser and Matt Corrente (as a forward). No one is skating on a solid line, with each player continually switching linemates.

Left winger Jay Pandolfo and defenseman Anssi Salmela, Fraser and Corrente will be healthy scratches. Andrew Peters (eye) and Vladimir Zharkov (back) are injury scratches tonight.