Wednesday, March 13, 2013
W2W4: Devils vs. Flyers
By Matt Ehalt
The Devils will go for consecutive wins for the first time since Feb. 9-10 when they host the Flyers on Wednesday night.
At a glance: The Devs are coming off a 3-2 win in the shootout against Winnipeg and face a Philadelphia team they are 2-0 against this season. New Jersey has struggled recently, going just 3-6-1 over its past 10 games.
Regulation ending: The Devils have not won a game in regulation since defeating Washington 3-2 on Feb. 21. Granted, they have won just twice since then, but both wins came in a shootout. In a condensed season, in which the Devils are fighting for their playoff lives, it doesn't help that they can't find ways to secure the two points without giving up a point to the opposition. New Jersey is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Where are the goals?David Clarkson started the season on fire, but it's been a rough go for him since. After scoring 10 goals in his first 14 games, he has just two assists in his past 12. Clarkson acknowledged it would have been very difficult for him to keep that up, especially since he's scored 30 goals in a season only once in his career. But the Devils need him to find his scoring ways. The team needs an offensive spark.
Hedberg again: Goalie Johan Hedberg will be in goal for the 10th straight game even though his previous nine starts were rough. Forced into starting duty after the back injury to Martin Brodeur, Hedberg is 2-6-1 in the past nine games. While most teams would struggle with a backup goalie in as a starter, the Devs need Hedberg to come through to have any shot at holding on to a playoff spot.
Separation: After hosting the Flyers on Wednesday, the Devils will head to Philadelphia on Friday to complete the home-and-home series.
They are currently four points ahead of the Flyers in the standings. With one game in hand, they could really use a sweep to provide some spacing between the two teams. It could also put Philadelphia in a tough spot in its attempt to make the playoffs. The Flyers are currently are in last place in the Atlantic Division and 11th in the conference.