Martin Brodeur recorded his 10th career shutout against the Flyers in a 3-0 win on Jan. 22.
The last time the Flyers and New Jersey Devils faced off it was complete domination on the Devils part. The Flyers power play had yet to find success. The penalty kill couldn't avoid allowing killer power play goals to opponents.
But the Flyers have greatly improved since then. After losing to the Devils on Jan. 22 to fall to 0-3-0, the Flyers are 6-4-1 since. That's still not great but it is an improvement. And while the power play could use some work, the Devils dangerous power play will face a penalty kill that has been on a roll lately.
The Flyers have killed off 28 of their last 30 penalties.
The Devils power play will still pack a mighty punch. Ilya Kovalchuk leads the charge as a point man and with David Clarkson always being a pest in front of the net and Travis Zajac being targeted for scorching one-timers, New Jersey has some options as to who will be firing.
But Ilya Bryzgalov has been much stronger this season and less than 24 hours after being pulled from his start against Toronto on Monday turned in another excellent performance on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. He will certainly be a player to watch especially considering the success the other netminder has posted against the Flyers.
With the 3-0 shutout on Jan. 22, Martin Brodeur recorded his 10th career shutout against the Flyers. Brodeur has 46 wins against the Flyers in his career and a 2.44 goals against average.
Meanwhile, the Devils also traded for Alexei Ponikarovsky earlier this week. Ponikarovsky was the overtime hero in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals last season and has incredible numbers against the Flyers, scoring nine goals and posted 17 points in 36 games against the Flyers.
In this shortened season, the Flyers appear to have found some life. They aren't sitting pretty at the top of the conference standings but they are far from being out of the playoff picture. But games like tonight's have the utmost importance.
Division games can not be taken lightly or given away to the opposition. Perhaps the fact that a majority of the Flyers participated in this morning's optional skate says a lot about the team's mindset.
Either way, the Flyers have to do something they couldn't last month of in the playoffs a season ago: solve Martin Brodeur and the Devils penalty kill by taking full advantage of all opportunities.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Flyerdelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.