The Flyers and Devils square off Tuesday night in Game 2 of their playoffs showdown after the Flyers dramatic overtime win in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Despite the Flyers holding the series lead, the Devils aren’t worried knowing they twice overcame deficits in their opening-round series with Florida.
Here are questions entering Game 2.
1. Can Bryz outduel Brodeur?
Game 1 wasn’t one for the goaltenders despite only seven goals being scored. Future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur looked like a guy about to turn 40 as he was shaky throughout while posting a .889 save percentage. On the other side of the ice, Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov looked more solid but still allowed two bad goals while posting a .885 save percentage.
When you take into account that Bryz faced just 11 shots in the final two periods and overtime and allowed two goals over that period, it shows that the Flyers offensive attack kept him out of further trouble. It also showed that Brodeur can still show flashes of brilliance (he stopped 26 of 30 shots over the same period) even when the Orange and Black throw everything they have his way.
The goalie advantage likely remains with the elder goaltender until Bryz puts together a solid performance.
2. How will the Kovalchuk injury change the Devils approach?
There was plenty of chatter after Game 1 that Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk -- who led New Jersey with 37 goals and 83 points in the regular season -- was possibly injured.
Turns out he was hurt.
The Devils announced Tuesday morning that Kovalchuk had been dealing with a lower body injury for the past few games and that he would miss Game 2 while he received treatment back in New Jersey.
The Devils only managed 2.63 goals per game this season with Kovalchuk in the lineup most of the season. Compare that to the Flyers who were second in the NHL with 3.17 goals per game and it looks like Kovalchuk will be missed.
Expect the Devils to rely on Zach Parise, Patrick Elias and postseason-scoring leader Travis Zajac to pick up the slack with Kovalchuk off the ice.
Game 2 airs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the NBC Sports Network.
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