Devils-Flyers Preview


The New Jersey Devils' current winning streak has helped them catch the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings.

So has the solid play of Martin Brodeur.

The future Hall of Famer will be in net again Tuesday night when visiting New Jersey looks to sweep a home-and-home series with Philadelphia.

Brodeur made 18 saves in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Flyers, earning his 650th career victory and helping the Devils (40-24-5) win their fourth straight to tie Philadelphia for fifth place in the East.

New Jersey has gone 5-1-0 while allowing one goal or none in six consecutive games, with Brodeur going 3-1-0 with a 1.01 goals-against average in that stretch.

The NHL's all-time winningest goaltender downplayed his most recent milestone, preferring to focus on what the team has been doing well of late.

"We've really tightened up defensively," Brodeur said. "It's a great sign. Our penalty kill has been tremendous. Our power play has been helping us out. We've been winning in similar ways every night."

New Jersey has held opponents without a power-play goal in 22 straight chances over eight games while going 4 for 12 on the man advantage in its last three contests.

Sunday's win marked Brodeur's first in his last six starts against the Flyers including postseason, and he'll look to beat them in two straight for the first time since a six-start run Nov. 8, 2007-March 28, 2008.

Philadelphia (39-22-7) had its five-game winning streak snapped and will look to bounce back by ending a three-game home skid against New Jersey.

The Flyers were outshot 31-19 on Sunday, with Claude Giroux scoring their lone goal. They will be playing their sixth game in 10 days, though defenseman Braydon Coburn said they shouldn't be fatigued.

"I don't think it's an excuse," Coburn said. "We've got a fit team and a lot of young guys here. There are no excuses to not have our legs under us."

Coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday's contest provides another crucial matchup for the Atlantic Division rivals, both chasing Pittsburgh for home-ice advantage in the first round of the postseason.

"It's a division game (and) it's a big game," Laviolette told the Flyers' official website. "You come off of a loss where you don't play the way you want to and get the results you're looking for, you get to go back at it against the same team."

Ilya Bryzgalov got a rare night off Sunday after starting 11 straight games, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 of 31 shots. Bryzgalov has three shutouts in his last four starts and figures to be back in net trying to continue his mastery of New Jersey this season.

He's 2-0-0 with a shutout and a 0.40 GAA in three appearances, relieving Bobrovsky in a 6-4 loss to the Devils on Feb. 4 in the last meeting in Philadelphia.

Bryzgalov is hoping to slow Russian countryman Ilya Kovalchuk, who had a goal and two assists Sunday to give him five goals and four assists during a four-game point streak.

He has two goals and six assists in five meetings with the Flyers this season, with the Devils winning three. Patrik Elias had a goal and an assist Sunday and has four two-point games over his last six contests.

Giroux, whose 80 points trail only Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos, has four goals in the five meetings. Sunday's goal extended his point streak against the Devils to eight games.