Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils Pick
The Philadelphia Flyers will try to rebound from arguably their worst effort of the playoffs so far when they head to the Prudential Center to take on the rejuvenated New Jersey Devils. The Flyers were the best road team in the league during the regular season and they should be motivated after getting utterly run over by the Devils in Game 2.
Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 3, 2012
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Broadcast: CBC, NBCSN, RDS
Series tied 1-1
Flyers vs. Devils Betting Lines from betonline.com
Spread: Devils -1 ½ (+260)
Moneyline: Flyers +101: Devils -111
Over/Under: 5 ½ goals
The Philadelphia Flyers are human after all! In Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semi-final they were outshot 35-20, outhit 32-24 and outclassed in front of their home crowd. Aspects that were working in their first round series against Pittsburgh have seemingly eluded the Flyers so far against New Jersey – the power play is just 1 for 11 including zero for five in Game 2 with just one combined shot!
Offense hasn’t been much of a problem for the Flyers so far in the post season – Claude Giroux has 15 points in seven games, Jakub Voracek has four points in three games and Danny Briere has eight points in six games. Jaromir Jagr is pointless in three games and is the only struggling Flyer seemingly on the roster.
Goaltending continues to be a major factor for Philadelphia. Ilya Bryzgalov is 2-1-0 with an OK 2.28 goals against average and .923 save percentage in his last three games. He is prone to blow-ups – it will be interesting to see how he responds in Game 3.
The New Jersey Devils played perhaps their best game of the playoffs so far in Game 2 and now ride the momentum back home. All of this without their top offensive weapon Ilya Kovalchuk who missed Game 2 and is questionable for Game 3. The Devils scored four goals in the third period of Game 2 – an offensive explosion rarely seen in New Jersey.
The Devils are certainly a different team when Travis Zajac is healthy. He returned to the lineup with 17 games left in the regular season and so far in the playoffs has been a force. He has five goals in the postseason to lead New Jersey while others like Zach Parise (3 points in 2 games), David Clarkson (4 points in 3 games) and Adam Henrique (3 points in 3 games) have been terrific compliments.
Martin Brodeur wasn’t all that busy in Game 2 – just 19 saves on 20 shots but he has looked like a true difference maker so far in the playoffs. He is 4-1-1 with a 1.68 goals against average and a .937 save percentage in his last seven starts in the postseason.
Betting Prediction: Philadelphia is 8-19 in the last 27 meetings in New Jersey. The Flyers were due for a down game – they showed that they can bounce back from a dud in their series versus the Penguins and I expect more of the same. The Flyers are too hot, too complete and way too pissed off to be denied in Game 3.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers +101