Better With Popcorn

Flyers Seek Offense And Revenge Against The Devils


Meeting for the second time in three days, the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils will close out a home-and-home set when they faceoff tonight at Wells Fargo Center.


In their meeting on Sunday, Martin Brodeur and a tight Devils defensive scheme held the Flyers in check for two thirds of the game until Claude Giroux tied it just sixteen seconds into the third period. 


That would last all of 2:30 seconds as Anton Volchenkov scored to give the Devils the lead and they never looked back. The win gave Brodeur his 650th of his career and added another win to his NHL all-time winningest goaltender record.


The Flyers have managed just one goal in their last two games and have averaged just two goals per game in their last five. 


Their recent offensive struggles are cause for concern and they are somewhat expected.


With the injuries to the defense and forwards coach Peter Laviolette has to try to find the right combinations that will consistently produce and give his team the best chance to win.


But with this team recently, it seemed when a new player was injected into the line-up the team did not skip a beat. 


Take the recent call-up of Brandon Manning as an example.


He was called up from the WHL Chilliwack Bruins where he played in 53 games collecting 21 goals and 32 assists for 53 points while amassing 129 penalty minutes. He has played in three games since being called up by the Flyers, is a +2 and has fired four shots on goal. 


At times in the game he has been unnoticeable and that's not a bad thing when it comes to being an NHL defenseman. He has been doing the right thing when he has the puck and he does not panic when under tight forecheck.


Not a bad find for the Flyers, who obtained him as a free agent after he turned down a contract offer to play for the New York Rangers AHL affiliate after attending training camp in 2010. 


He was drafted by Calgary in the third round of the 2009 entry draft. He is young and aside from one bad shift in the Devils' game, he is fitting in nicely and is just another player the Flyers can add to their impressive depth chart. 


Tonight the Flyers will need to get their offense back on track. They will have to get Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot in the face of Brodeur causing traffic and pouncing on rebounds. They need to be more aggressive in the offensive zone, something they have gotten away from their last couple of games. 


Each line must concentrate on sustained puck possession in the Devils' end. Scott Hartnell needs to make better decisions when he has the puck as recently he has been forcing the puck to Jaromir Jagr, causing offensive puck possession to be short lived. 


Look for Ilya Bryzgalov to get back into action tonight. He was recently named NHL's first star of the week for his outstanding play. 


He was 3-0 with two shutouts and a .065 goals against average while stopping 94 of 96 shots in his three starts.





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