Devils at Flyers, Game 3

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur , who stopped 23 of the Flyers' last24 shots in Friday's game, is looking for his 100th playoff win.
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur , who stopped 23 of the Flyers' last24 shots in Friday's game, is looking for his 100th playoff win.
Posted: April 18, 2010

Here is what we learned from Game 2 and what we might see in Sunday's Game 3 of the Turnpike Series between the Flyers and New Jersey Devils.

Move over, Crosby

After the first two games of their highly entertaining playoff series against New Jersey, the Flyers' leading scorer is . . .

Not Jeff Carter.

Not Mike Richards.

Not Simon Gagne.

Not Danny Briere.

It's (drum roll, please) . . .

Defenseman Chris Pronger, who has scored one more goal than the aforementioned players combined - and is the leading goal-scorer on both teams.

Pronger has two goals, both on the power play. Both were scored from in front - one on a rebound when he followed the play, the other when he was stationed by the net and deflected Kimmo Timonen's point drive through Martin Brodeur's legs.

Coach Peter Laviolette said he would occasionally have Pronger down low - instead of his customary spot at the point - on the power play.

"We tried it in that instance, on the four-on-three, and it worked," he said. But he added that Pronger's point shot is part of his identity. "He was brought here to shoot pucks and bomb away from the back end."

Laviolette noted that Boston sometimes moves Zdeno Chara, another mammoth defenseman, down low on the power play.

After Saturday's practice, Pronger playfully acted offended when a reporter was surprised by his offensive outburst.

For the record, Pronger has 24 goals and 104 points in 149 career playoff games.

Not too shabby.

Brodeur recovers

Bad sign for the Flyers: After a slow start in this series, Martin Brodeur - who will aim for his 100th career playoff win Sunday - looks as if he is steadying himself.

Make no mistake, Brodeur is not playing like the legend who has more wins than any goalie in NHL history.

But . . .

After allowing two goals on the first five shots in Game 2, he stopped 23 of the Flyers' last 24 shots - including a key stop on Ian Laperriere's one-timer with the score tied at 3-3 and 8 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game - to key the Devils' 5-3 win.

Before that, he had surrendered four goals on 19 shots in the series, a save percentage of .789. (Yikes!) At the time, he had an .869 save percentage in seven-plus games against the Flyers this season

That's like Albert Pujols hitting, oh, .180.

Trying to beat the odds

The oddsmakers paid attention to the Flyers' up-and-down regular season.

That explains why they give the Flyers little respect.

When the playoffs started, the Flyers were 40-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Only Colorado (50-1) had higher odds, according to Bodog.com.

The Devils, at 12-1, had the seventh-best odds to win the Cup. Washington was the favorite at 7-2.

Home-ice hopes

Cue the video to a crooning Harry Kalas. The Flyers have high hopes as they return to the Wachovia Center on Sunday for Game 3.

And with good reason.

During the regular season, the Flyers were 3-0 against the Devils in Philly, outscoring New Jersey, 11-5.

The Flyers were 24-14-3 at home in the regular season, and 15-5-1 since Jan. 6.

In the franchise's playoff history, the Flyers are 114-78 at home, and 78-101 on the road.

- Sam Carchidi

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