On Home Ice, Flyers Look To Fend Off Kovalchuk, Devils In Game 3

For more, visit our Flyers blog, Broad Street Hockey, and our Devils blog, In Lou We Trust.

Philadelphia (Sports Network) - After earning a split on home ice, the second-seeded New Jersey Devils will try to gain an edge in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for Game 3 at Wachovia Center.

New Jersey, the Atlantic Division champions, dropped a 2-1 decision in the opener on Wednesday, but rebounded with a 5-3 victory in Friday's Game 2 battle at Prudential Center.

The seventh-seeded Flyers, who will also host Game 4 on Tuesday, were 25-12-4 on home ice during the regular season. The Devils were 21-17-3 on the road, but they lost 15 of their final 20 games as the guest.

Dainius Zubrus netted the game-winner with 4:04 remaining in regulation, leading the Devils to Friday's win and a 1-1 series tie. Ilya Kovalchuk collected two assists and sealed his first playoff victory with an empty-net goal.

Zach Parise scored a shorthanded goal for the Devils, while Patrik Elias recorded three assists, and Martin Brodeur made 26 saves on 29 shots.

"We played well so far in this series," Brodeur said. "We've got to continue to make (Flyers goaltender) Brian Boucher play well. That's the bottom line. If he plays well, that means we're having a lot of chances. If we have a lot of chances, the puck will go in."

Brodeur needs one more victory to reach 100 playoff wins for this career. He would be the second goaltender in league history to reach the mark after Patrick Roy, who is the all-time leader with 151 postseason wins.

Boucher stopped 23-of-24 shots in Game 1, but was beaten four times on 32 shots in Friday's tilt. Claude Giroux and Chris Pronger had power-play goals for the Flyers.

Zubrus and Parise both took whacks at a rebound on the winning goal, but Zubrus got his stick in front of his teammate's and swatted the puck over Boucher and the Devils forged ahead by a goal.

"It was a grinding play," Boucher said of the go-ahead goal by Zubrus. "It came from behind the net. They threw (the puck) on net. I made the first save. Their guy ended up getting (the rebound) and put it top shelf."

New Jersey, which has won the last two Atlantic Division titles, is trying to avoid its third straight first-round playoff exit. Philadelphia also lost in the conference quarterfinals last year after making it to the East finals in 2008.

The Flyers fared well against New Jersey during the regular season, outscoring the Devils, 20-13, in winning five of the six contests.

The Devil and Flyer franchises have faced each other four times in the playoffs with each team winning twice. Philly won the last postseason encounter, earning a 4-1 series' victory in the opening round of the 2004 playoffs.

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