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NHL Playoffs 2012: Philadelphia Flyers Happy New Jersey Devils Won, But...

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22:  Flyers fans stand for the singing of  'God Bless America' before the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers won the game 5-1 to eliminate the Penguins from the playoffs.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Professor BushCorrespondent IIIApril 27, 2012

The Philadelphia Flyers can thank the New Jersey Devils for the home-ice advantage they will have in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

But the Flyers will have to face a long-time nemesis in Martin Brodeur. In his 19th season with the Devils, Brodeur posted a 2.41 goals-against average this regular season.

In the Devils' series win against the Florida Panthers, Brodeur had a shutout in Game 4 and kept the puck out of the net for the first two periods and overtime to win the decisive Game 7.

While the Devils do have their three top scorers in Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise, it is really Brodeur that can give the Flyers fits if he's at the top of his game. He certainly can be expected to provide more consistent goaltending than Ilya Bryzgalov has shown recently. 

The Flyers and Devils split the regular season series 3-3. The Flyers finished only one point ahead of the Devils in the regular-season standings, so the teams are really evenly matched.

The last time the teams met in the playoffs, the Flyers beat the Devils in the first round on their way to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010.

I called the Flyers' victory in six games over the Penguins. I'm thinking that I should stick with the same prediction for this series: Flyers in six. I believe that the Flyers' more offensive depth and productive power play should give them the advantage. 

But of course, if Marty Brodeur throws a few shutouts in the series, this could change things. In either case, this should be a great series. Let's drop the puck!

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