The New Jersey Devils rallied around the absence of leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Philadelphia Flyers at a game apiece. They may have to do it again, with Kovalchuk’s status for Thursday’s Game 3 still in doubt. Kovalchuk is dealing with a lower-body injury and is expected to be reevaluated prior to the third game of the series. New Jersey used four third-period goals to earn a 4-1 victory in Game 2 on Monday night.
Flyers Devils Betting
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 3, 2012
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS, CBC
Opening Line: New Jersey Devils Money line: -115 Spread: -1.5 (+250) Total: 5.5 CLICK HERE to bet on the NHL Playoffs at BOVADA
Philadelphia Flyers: Philadelphia media referred to the Game 2 loss as the club’s worst game of the postseason – and the players might well agree. Forward Scott Hartnell shouldered a significant portion of the blame for the defeat. “I wasn’t forechecking. I wasn’t hitting. It seemed like my legs weren’t moving, and when you don’t have a guy on your line going, it’s tough to get the other guys going as well,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I have to be better. I have to get emotionally into the game. It felt like it was just too easy for them.” The line of Hartnell, Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr was limited to just four shots.
New Jersey Devils: New Jersey knew its league-best penalty-killing unit would be in tough against a Flyers team that erupted for 12 goals in 23 man-advantage opportunities in its first-round slugfest with Pittsburgh. Through two games, the Devils have had a decided advantage in the showdown, surrendering just one power-play goal in 11 chances. After allowing the Panthers to go 9 for 27 in their first-round series, New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer says he’s encouraged by the improvement against the Flyers. “We’ve got it back on track where we want it right now and we have to continue that,” he said.
1. Including playoffs, The Flyers have gone just 4 for 44 on the power play in eight games against the Devils this season.
2. Devils rookie D Adam Larsson scored in his playoff debut Tuesday night, joining Craig Wolanin as the only New Jersey blue liners to do so.
3. Giroux’s zero-point effort in Game 2 was his first scoreless playoff game since the series opener against the Penguins.
PREDICTION: Devils 3, Flyers 2. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$