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New Jersey Devils vs Philadelphia Flyers - Preseason Game #4 Preview

Matt Taormina (left) is likely to play tonight.  Will he build on his performance on Saturday? Will anyone outside of the Rock actually see it?  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Matt Taormina (left) is likely to play tonight. Will he build on his performance on Saturday? Will anyone outside of the Rock actually see it? (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
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The Time:  7:00 PM EDT

The Broadcast:  No listed coverage on MSG+, 660 AM WFAN has a Mets game instead, and Broad Street Hockey posted last week that there won't be Flyers TV coverage.   If you know of anyway of seeing this game outside of, well, going to the Rock, then please let me know in the comments. I got nothing right now.

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (0-0-3) vs. the Philadelphia Flyers (3-0-1)

The Last Devils Game:  New Jersey's penalty killing got blown up repeatedly in the third period and again in overtime.  That's how the Rangers turned a 4-2 deficit early in the third to a 5-4 OT win.   Kevin did the recap for that one, check it out here.

The Last Flyers Game: On Saturday night, the Flyers went up to Minnesota and went into another shootout with the Wild.  Once again, the Flyers came out with the win, so it had a 3-2 final. Broad Street Hockey has this recap up.

The Last Devils-Flyers Game: Speaking of shootouts, that's how the Flyers were able to win the first preseason game of the season for both teams.  The Flyers took it 4-3, but Devils fans will better remember that game for how well Henrik Tallinder and Alexander Urbom played with each other. 

The Goal: Since the results really don't matter, the goal for the Devils should be to play a lot smarter on special teams.  On Saturday, they got caught multiple times on the penalty kill.  They got caught taking the same kind of cross-check (from behind against the boards) that led to minors and, of course, power play goals.  If you don't have faith in the PK, then you need to stay calm and not get tagged for silly calls.   As for the power play, it's still scoreless across three games.  I'm not mad about not converting on the 5-on-3 as the Devils did set up good shots and got possession; it's the 5-on-4 power plays where they just can't consistently maintain possession on offense.

Even though the personnel for both teams will still be much different from what they will be in 10 days, I think the Devils should really focus on sorting out their special teams issues.  Yes, preseason games are more for evaluating performances; but with preseason beginning to wind down for NJ,

That's what I would like to see at least, feel free to disagree. I have some additional thoughts on tonight's game after the jump.  Of course, please visit Tom Gulitti and Rich Chere throughout the day for any updates on the lineup and other news.  Who knows, some of that may be broadcasting information.

The Flyers just made some cuts - 28 to be precise - to their training camp roster on Sunday.  Philadelphia iced a strong team in the first preseason game, and there will surely be some veterans wearing orange tonight. 

Do keep an eye on their goaltenders though. Michael Leighton has undergone a MRI on his back and given the lack of comments about the results (something Travis Hughes justifiably questions), it's something to be concerned about.  Should Leighton be injured, then the Flyers will definitely use these games to figure out a Plan B in net.  For tonight's game, according to this post by Frank Seravelli at Frequent Flyers, it very well could be Sergei Bobrovsky.

If he is starting, he'll see the legendary Martin Brodeur at the other end of the rink, a decision John MacLean confirmed to Tom Gulitti yesterday afternoon.  Who knows if Brodeur will get all 60 minutes, but it's a possibility as the Devils edge closer to the regular season. 

MacLean was actually more upfront to Gulitti in terms of who will play tonight.  Jacob Josefson is probable to play after sitting out for a bit with a sore foot.  Speaking of feet, Brian Rolston is apparently OK after taking a hard shot in Saturday's game.  Rolston will be playing.  Jamie Langenbrunner thinks he'll play, which would be good for him to get back into the mix. MacLean wants to give Matt Taormina another look (a third one in a row), so I suspect he'll be in too. Try-out Marcus Nilson will also play tonight. If only for his own sake, I hope he can be worthy of (positive) attention on the ice.

Beyond that, as of this writing (10 PM on 9/27), the rest of the lineup is still unknown.  I certainly hope Tyler Eckford will get to play in this game.  If he does, best of luck to him and to any other prospects on the proverbial bubble.  It wouldn't surprise me if a few other veterans like Colin White and Vladimir Zharkov (if you can call him a vet) are put in since they didn't play on Saturday night. 

Regardless, it's all about performances and not results.  Though, if you're at the game, do share with us how the game is going.  Like all other SBN sites, you can access this site through your phone and comment as you would in front of your computer.  Those who won't/can't be at the game would certainly appreciate it - assuming there is truly no broadcast.  All the same, please leave your thoughts about tonight's game in the comments. If you have any news updates, you can post them here, please link to the actual source. Of course, go Devils.