For the ninth straight time, the road team won a Game 7 overtime, as the New Jersey Devils nipped the Florida Panthers by a 2-1 count early this morning in Broward County.
That sets up the fifth-seeded Flyers taking on the six-seed Devils in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, beginning Sunday at 3 p.m. (et) in Philadelphia.
These clubs last met in the postseason two years ago, with Brian Boucher outperforming Martin Brodeur in a five-game Flyers’ first-round triumph.
The Orange and Black have won the last two playoff meetings, in 2004 and 2010, after dropping the first two, in painful fashion with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line, back in 1995 and 2000.
Here is the full schedule, courtesy of NHL.com
|Sunday, April 29, 2012||3:00 p.m.||New Jersey at Philadelphia||NBC, CBC|
|Tuesday, May 1, 2012||7:30 p.m.||New Jersey at Philadelphia||NBCSN, CBC|
|Thursday, May 3, 2012||7:30 p.m.||Philadelphia at New Jersey||NBCSN, CBC|
|Sunday, May 6, 2012||7:30 p.m.||Philadelphia at New Jersey||NBCSN, CBC|
|*Tuesday, May 8, 2012||TBD||New Jersey at Philadelphia||NBCSN, CBC|
|*Thursday, May 10, 2012||TBD||Philadelphia at New Jersey||TBD, CBC|
|*Saturday, May 12, 2012||TBD||New Jersey at Philadelphia||TBD, CBC|
The Flyers finished 3-2-1 against the Horned Ones this season, including a 1-1-1 mark on home ice.
Over those four prior playoff matchups, the Orange and Black own a 13-10 edge in games, thanks to a pair of 4-games-to-1 series victories.
At home, the Flyers are just 6-6 all-time against New Jersey, but consider that, after going 1-6 in their first seven home tilts, they have taken five in a row over the Devils, the last defeat coming in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals.
If there’s one advantage the denizens of The Rock hold over their Atlantic foes, it’s that Brodeur, still kicking at age 39, will participate in his fifth career postseason dance with Philly. That’s more action than any other active goaltender has seen against Philadelphia.
On the other side of the ledger, the Flyers will employ their fourth different netminder (Ron Hextall in ’95, Boucher in ’00 and ’10, Robert Esche in ’04 and Ilya Bryzgalov).