After a frustrating 5-2 defeat at the hands of the rival New Jersey Devils Wednesday, the struggling Flyers look to get even when they play the Devils again this Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers (12-15-1) showed some life early when RW Jakub Voracek lit the lamp halfway through the first period to pull even with New Jersey at 1 following a goal two minutes in by Patrik Elias, but let things get away quickly, with lethargic play that led to two more goals.
At 3-1, they were effectively buried, as they would not even score again until late in the third period following two more Devils goals. The Devils dominated the Flyers in most areas of the game, and capitalized big time on mistakes made by the Flyers players.
One such crippling error came when the puck just happened to bounce off of the skate of Matt Read, who was playing defense close to the net, and in for New Jersey's second goal of the night, giving them a lead they would not relinquish.
Bad timing struck again for a team that has lost 4-of-5 at a critical point in the season. New Jersey has a six-point lead on Philadelphia in the Eastern conference standings, and the Devils are 3-0 against the orange-and-black this year.
The Flyers have played rather dysfunctional hockey this season. They have looked quite formidable when everyone is on the same page, but those games have been few and far between in general as the Flyers have yet to go on any sort of substantial winning runs, let alone pass the .500 mark, at any point this season. They have not yet won more than two games in a row, with their best stretch of play comming when they won 5 of 7 at the end of February/beginning of March, prior to their current streak of mediocrity.
New Jersey (13-9-5) has won not by being spectacular at any one thing in particular, but by winning the games they've needed to and playing solid enough hockey. Johan Hedberg will likely start his 11th straight game in place of the injured Martin Brodeur, who has been sidelined with a sore back.
Ilya Bryzgalov will likely start for the Flyers, who will play their second and final game this week on Friday. Bryzgalov allowed 4 or more goals for the third time in his last five starts Wednesday, and the 6th time in his last 13 overall. He has had eight such games this year, and his GAA stands at a disappointing 2.86 for the season.