The Devils have a bit of good news according to Gulitti: Brendan Shanahan will play tonight. I think he'll be a nice boost on the special teams. Plus, a Devils win and a Florida loss seals a playoff berth for New Jersey.
The Devils have a load of bad news, also accoring to Gulitti: Patrik Elias will not dress tonight due to "lower body soreness." This has been confirmed by Chere. What will the Devils do? Elias is one of their top left wingers. Does Sutter move Zach Parise up a line (doubtful, he works so well with Zajac and Langenbrunner)? Does Zubrus move up to center, Rolston slides to the off-wing, and Shanahan and Jay Pandolfo will remain on the bottom two lines as wingers? I really don't know, but Sutter's answer could prove crucial tonight!
Even then, the Devils are without one of the top defensive forwards in the league - according to Mirtle, that is - as well as one of their best players tonight. Note that he has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games, so he's been productive as of late - not to mention all season with 77 points. Elias is a pretty important factor in the team's offense, and with his absence I fear that Philadelphia's chances just got better tonight. Of course, they play the game on the ice instead of on paper, so perhaps someone steps up in a big way.
Your expected starters for tonight:
|NJD - Martin Brodeur||21||1227||15||4||2||2||42||2.05||561||519||.925||5|
|PHI - Martin Biron||46||2662||24||15||5||1||121||2.73||1440||1319||.916||2|
Check out Broad Street Hockey for the other side of this rivalry. Travis' preview focuses on how Philly needs this to keep hope alive for the division. Hopefully, the Devils can crush those hopes with an iron fist and/or 4 goals. Feel free to leave your comments about the game here, just keep them clean and relevant. Go Devils!