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Flyers Devils ECSF Game 5 Preview: Hard To Think Flyers On The Brink

 

 

The Philadelphia Flyers will have to win or go home tonight as they are on the brink of elimination for the first time in this season's playoffs when they host the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals. 
 
They will be doing so without the NHL's leading goal scorer in this year's playoffs, Claude Giroux. Giroux has been suspended by the league Monday afternoon for the head shot he gave Dainius Zubrus in Game 4. 
 
Although Giroux has had a clean record in his four years in the NHL and Zubrus was able to finish the game, Brendan Shanahan decided this hit was more dangerous than some others in this season's playoffs and issued him the one game suspension. 
 
The suspension to Giroux would be easier to swallow for Flyers fans if the league   was more consistent in their rulings on head shots. No matter the Flyers still have to play for their lives tonight and will need some players to step up who have been absent in this round of the playoffs. 
 
Jaromir Jagr is one such player who could impact tonight's game. He has looked slow and tired this round. Is he playing through an injury? Whatever the case he will have to step up tonight and make his presence felt. 
 
Look for Danny Briere to step up tonight and make his presence felt. He has the history, and the Flyers need another one of his magical playoff performances tonight. The team as a whole needs to step up and play smarter tonight. 
 
The Flyers need to lose their dump and chase style tonight and carry the puck over the line to gain access to the Devils zone. Too many times in this series have the Flyers thrown the puck down low only to have Martin Brodeur stop it behind the net and wing it back out of the zone. 
 
This makes for an easy trip out of the zone for the Devils, ultimately forcing the Flyers to chase the puck their entire shift. It is just about getting back to the basics, generating shots from the point with traffic in front of the net, establishing a relentless fore-check, or capitalizing on their power play opportunities, things they did a great job at in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 
 
The Flyers looked deflated after Game 4 and the adversity they face tonight could be the driving force on their road to a comeback.
 
 
 
Step Up Players
 
Jagr
 
Hartnell
 
Briere