Flyers prep for Devils with season on brink

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game Four
Bryzgalov and the Flyers need a big win against New Jersey to get their season turned in the right direction.

Players talk about must-win games all the time. Usually it’s just that, though. Talk.

For the Flyers, trailing the Rangers by three points and the Devils by four for the final two playoff spots, they know their upcoming home-and-home showdown with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, really could decide their fate.

“You win both games and you tied with them, and you have a good chance to continue to battle for the playoffs,’’ said goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who likely won’t be opposed by injured Martin Brodeur (back) Wednesday in Newark. “You lose both games, you done. You’d be eight points behind, with not many games to catch up. It would be very, very difficult.’’

This will be the third — and final — trek up the Turnpike for Peter Laviolette’s team. They’ll host New Jersey Friday, then again April 18. They’ve lost the first two, which is part of the reason they’re in this predicament in the first place. Going into Wednesday’s game, the gap was three points behind the surging Rangers who went 4-0 last week and still hold three games in hand.

That’s what makes beating the Devils so crucial, as the team that’s played more games than anyone begins a stretch of just three games in 13 days.

“The focus can be a little more pointed this week,’’ conceded Laviolette, hoping to build off Sunday’s 3-2 win over Buffalo. “That urgency should be there.  There aren’t any excuses and there will be no excuses if we don’t respond. They’re probably looking at it the same way, which lends itself to a great hockey game.”

Since beating the Flyers, 5-3, on Feb. 15 the Devils have gone just 3-7-2. But they are 6-0 vs. Philadelphia since dropping Game 1 of their second round series last May, though Brodeur — rather than Johan Hedberg — was between the pipes each time.

No matter who is in goal for the Devils, the Flyers know what’s at stake.

“You do the math, it’s a huge couple games for us,’’ said Scott Hartnell.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."