2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 4 Predictions for Devils vs. Flyers Game 4

Ron Miller@@rfmiller80Contributor IIIMay 6, 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 4 Predictions for Devils vs. Flyers Game 4

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    The New Jersey Devils take a 2-1 series lead with them into Game 4 on Sunday night.

    A win for the Devils would mean taking a stranglehold in the series and forcing Philadelphia to the brink of elimination. A Flyers victory would result in a 2-2 series tie and Philadelphia regaining home-ice advantage.

    Here are four predictions for this pivotal Game 4 match up.

There Will Be Dirty Play

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    Though the series has had its heated moments, the real rough stuff has yet to begin. If the Devils gain an early lead and begin to control the majority of the play, similar to Games 2 and 3, look for the Flyers to attempt to get into their heads.

    The Flyers have a number of agitators who are perfect when it comes to swaying the energy of the game. Expect players like Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell, Maxime Talbot to push the buttons of several Devils' players.

Flyers Will Dominate the First Period

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    After being outshot, out-hustled, and simply out-played in a number of periods thus far in the series, the Flyers must come out strong from the drop of the puck in Game 4.

    Look for Coach Peter Laviolette to have his team fully charged and ready to take control of the game right away.

    Philadelphia will have a one or two goal lead at the end of the first period. That has not helped them recently, however. They are 1-4 in these playoffs when scoring first.

Brodeur Will Turn Back the Clock

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    Martin Brodeur has always risen to the occasion; his 40th birthday will be no different. Look for the newly 40 year-old goaltender to keep his team in the game as Philadelphia surges in the early stages.

    Marty will continue his consistent play in this game and provide many big saves for the Devils.

Devils Win 4-3

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    New Jersey will continue to surprise experts, hockey fans, and the Flyers themselves with another win tonight. 

    The Devils have done something that many people did not believe possible, taken Philadelphia out of their comfort zone. New Jersey has shut down the Flyers' normally dangerous power play, matched and at points have had better offensive depth than Philadelphia, and simply out-hustled the Flyers on their way to two straight victories.

    If the Devils can continue this style of play, they will win this game and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Look for the score to be just as close as the three previous games. Devils 4 Flyers 3.