Saturday, October 3, 2015

D-minded Flyers in Devils' opener

NEWARK, N.J. _ During their seven-game preseason, Flyers goalies had a 1.98 goals against average and .925 save percentage.

D-minded Flyers in Devils' opener


  NEWARK, N.J. _ During their seven-game preseason, Flyers goalies had a 1.98 goals against average and .925 save percentage.

   Yes, the Flyers will gladly take those numbers during the regular season.

    With goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopping 22 of 23 shots, they started in strong fashion Thursday with a 2-1 win in Boston, and they  will try to keep it rolling in Newark Saturday night. It will be the New Jersey Devils’ season opener.

    The Flyers will be trying to go to 2-0 for just the 14th time in franchise history.

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     Right winger Jaromir Jagr, who notched his 1,600th career point against Boston, has some impressive career numbers against New Jersey: 33 goals and 49 assists in 91 games.

    A year ago, the Flyers went 3-2-1 against the Devils as Danny Briere led the way with five goals.

    Bryzgalov is expected to square off against future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, 39, who has 116 career shutouts.

    Brodeur’s career numbers against the Flyers (2.48 GAA, .905 save percentage) aren’t as good as his overall career numbers (2.22, .913).

     New Jersey, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995-96 last season, will be without injured center Travis Zajac (Achilles tendon).

    The Flyers are expected to use the same lineup as in the opener. If they do, Andreas Lilja will be the sixth defenseman.

     GM Paul Holmgren said defenseman Matt Walker _ who had a strong training camp _ was healthy and ready to play in the opener, but coach Peter Laviolette opted for Lilja. “Let’s not turn this into Walker-gate,” Holmgren said with a smile.

     Walker did not skate with the team during Friday’s practice; instead, he did an off-ice workout.

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   Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Inquirer Staff Writer
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Broad Street Bull is your place for the latest updates, trade rumors, and everything connected to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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