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Devils vs. Flyers, Game 1

4/14/2010

9:20 p.m. One of the reasons the Flyers had so much success against the Devils in the regular season (they won five of six vs. New Jersey) was because they continually created traffic around the crease which resulted in scoring opportunities. The same held true in the second period tonight. Philadelphia got on the board with a power-play goal 9:25 into the second period when Simon Gagne’s shot from the right circle trickled away from Martin Brodeur and -- in the midst of a scrum in front of the crease -- Chris Pronger got his stick on the rebound and took a shot that deflected off Brian Rolston and past Brodeur. Traffic in front seemed to bother Brodeur and it wasn't clear if he located the puck after allowing the rebound.

Mike Richards put the Flyers up 2-0 with 3:33 to go in the period when he beat Brodeur glove-side with a slap shot from the top of the left circle.

8:25 p.m. The good news for the Devils? They open up the second period with 1:07 remaining on a power play. The bad news is, they didn't look that sharp with the man-advantage in the first period, which ended with the Flyers and Devils tied, 0-0.

Kimmo Timonen got two minutes for hooking Zach Parise at 10:28. But the ensuing power play was less than inspiring. Ilya Kovalchuk and Parise were sloppy with the puck. Parise had a giveaway in the offensive zone and Kovalchuk mishandled a puck, allowing Philadelphia to clear it.

The New Jersey power play got another shot at 19:06 when Timonen was whistled for holding on Dainius Zubrus.

Travis Zajac had a shot on goal, but the Devils didn't do much else to challenge Brian Boucher on the power play. Boucher finished with nine saves in the first.

7:30 p.m. Here are the starting lineups and scratches for tonight:

DEVILS

Starting lineup:

C Rob Neidermayer

RW Jamie Langenbrunner

LW Brian Rolston

D Andy Greene

D Paul Martin

G Martin Brodeur

Scratches:

D Mark Fraser

F Vladimir Zharkov

F Jay Pandolfo

F Andrew Peters

D Anssi Salmela

D Matthew Corrente

FLYERS

Starting lineup:

C Mike Richards

LW Simon Gagne

RW Dan Carcillo

D Chris Pronger

D Matt Carle

G Brian Boucher

Scratches:

G Jeremy Duchesne

F Ville Leino

F Riley Cote

D Ryan Parent

7:22 p.m. The Devils finished the regular season with 103 points, winning the Atlantic Division for the fourth time in five seasons. They mostly dominated their division opponents -- but not the Flyers. They went 1-4-1 against Philly, giving up 20 goals in six games. The last loss was a 5-1 drilling in Philadelphia on March 28. Now, they face the Flyers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, trying to advance to the second round for the first time since 2007.

Will the Devils' ugly regular-season results against the Flyers affect them in the playoffs? We'll find out Wednesday night when the Devils and Flyers square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference at the Prudential Center in Newark. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.