NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 30: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders braces for the shot from David Steckel #15 of the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 30, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils shut out the Islanders 1-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Time: 7:00 PM EST
No information available at the moment Streaming on the Devils website or MSG.com
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (2-3) will play their final pre-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers (4-2). The Devils came out on top against the Islanders yesterday in a close 1-0 game, despite the Devils' roster looking more like the Albany Devils roster. John recapped the game here.
The Goal: Get a win against the Flyers
As for our opposition, check out Broad Street Hockey for a Flyers perspective.The Lineup info has yet to be released for either team, however I'm expecting the Devils to use a roster very similar to the one that went up against the Flyers on Thursday, which means Martin Brodeur should be starting for the Devils. Tom Gulliti reports that Anton Volchenkov (leg) will play, while Dainius Zubrus (lower body) may suit up for tonight's game.
The Goal(s): The first would be to cut down on the penalties. The Devils took a lot of unnecessary penalties on Thursday against the Flyers, and took a few penalties against the Islanders. This goal should be attainable, provided the Devils don't ice a team full of enforcers.
The second goal would be a better game from the defense and the penalty kill. The two goals on Thursday were both off defensive lapses (Tallinder failing to clear the puck, Stralman leaving Jaromir Jagr wide open). The Devils may have shut out the Islanders last night, but you do have to keep in mind most of the guys the Isles team last night was mainly composed of Junior/AHL players. If the Flyers play guys like Claude Giroux and Danny Briere tonight, that will be a significant increase in talent from the Isles squad that played last night.
The penalty kill left in both goals to the Flyers on Thursday, and hasn't been that great in the preseason. Hopefully Peter DeBoer decides to do away with the diamond penalty kill- if it didn't work for the Oilers, it's not working for the Devils. The Flyers have a pretty strong powerplay unit in this preseason, which does make matters worse.
Who to Watch: TG mentioned that Adam Larsson will play in two of the three games this week. Because he didn't play yesterday, Larsson should be playing tonight- which would be a good thing for him, as DeBoer has shown a lot of confidence with him over the last few games, playing nearly 25 minutes on Thursday. He's been moving the puck very well on the power play and hasn't been a liability on defense. Rich Chere likes a lot of what he's seen of Adam Larsson- saying that he's going to make the opening night roster.
Zach Parise-Patrik Elias-Petr Sykora
Ilya Kovalchuk-Jacob Josefson-Nick Palmieri
Mattias Tedenby-Dainius Zubrus-David Clarkson
Eric Boulton-Adam Henrique-Brad Mills
Henrik Tallinder-Mark Fayne
Adam Larsson-Andy Greene
Anton Volchenkov-Alexander Urbom
Of course, i'd like to see the Devils pull one out against the Flyers. Beating a rival is always great, and it also gives the Devils the added benefit of ending the preseason on a high note. Plus this game may also be a preview of things to come, as the Devils season opener is next Saturday against the Flyers. What do you think of tonight's game? Leave your thoughts in the comments.