And on the fourth day, following Sundays Game 6 clincher against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flyers finally know who their opponent is for the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The top-seeded New York Rangers will face Washington after defeating Ottawa, 2-1 in the other Game 7.
Flyer players admit theyve been watching games taking notes of opponents. Not that there isnt much they havent seen before.
These guys know these teams, anyway, coach Peter Laviolette said. If they dont know them, they will now them by the time we are done presenting the package to them. I dont think it will be what a team does in the next round that will catch us off guard, nor do I think anything we do catches them off guard. That is not how hockey is.
Its not about new packages and schemes. There are minor changes in a system based on what you think you need to do. We might not even know those minors changes we need to make until after a game or a halfway through a game ... We knew what Pittsburgh was doing to do and they knew what we were going to do.
We split with them, I think we won two in Jersey and Jersey won two in Philly, Wayne Simmonds said of the Devils. That would obviously be a tight series, as well. We know what they got, we played them six times this year. Well definitely be ready.
In the six-game season series, Parise had three goals and four points against the Flyers while Kovalchuk led the Devils with eight points - two goals and six assists.
The Flyers split their season series with the Devils, 3-3. One of those losses came via the shootout. Heres a recap:
Oct. 8 at NJ, 3-0 win
Ilya Bryzgalov earns first Flyers shutout since April 6, 2010 (Brian Boucher vs. Toronto) and Flyers handle Devils easily. Bryz has a simple game with few tough saves, unlike game in Boston. Newcomers Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read get goals. Simmonds also has his first fight as a Flyer.
Nov. 3 vs. NJ, 4-3 shootout loss
Flyers jump out to a 2-0 lead and have command of the game and then two ghastly turnovers by the defense in their own end one by Andreas Lilja that makes it a 2-2 game and the other by Matt Carle in the third period makes it a 3-3 game and crushes the Flyers. Coach Peter Laviolette elects to use Simmonds in the shootout over Jaromir Jagr and its a bad choice. Flyers still get three of four points in back-to-back games against Buffalo and Jersey.
Jan. 21 at NJ, 4-1 win
Costly win as three Flyer forwards are injured: Jagr with another groin pull, Zac Rinaldo re-aggravates a neck injury and Danny Briere with a concussion after a hit in first period and one in the third period. Scott Hartnell, still not named to All-Star roster, keys win with two goals while Bryzgalov has a fine game with 30 saves.
Feb. 4 vs. NJ, 6-4 loss
Flyers lackadaisical attitude coupled with undisciplined play results in early 5-on-3 power play goal as they fall behind 6-0 to Devils after two periods. Sergei Bobrovsky leaves after sixth goal; Flyers mount furious third period rally, yet fall short. Players are embarrassed after the game. Flyers needed two points in this game plus a win in regulation on Sunday against the Rangers to catch them as No. 1 seed and it wont happen now.
Mar. 11 at NJ, 4-1 loss
Flyers looked tired with heavy legs after fifth game in eight days as Devils have far more glide in their stride while Marty Brodeur gets his 650th career win. Bobrovsky makes his first start in nearly a month as Bryzgalovs streak of 11 straight starts ends. Claude Giroux ties the game 1-1 in third but Flyers quickly give a pair of goals to ice it for NJ. Devils tie Flyers with 85 points, but remain behind them in overall standings.
Mar. 13 vs. NJBattle for fifth seed, 3-0 win
Bryzgalov ties John Vanbiesbrouck as the only other Flyer goalie to get three straight shutouts while his scoreless streak goes to 196:13. Over his last 12 starts he has a 0.39 GAA and .986 save percentage. Briere snaps 23-game goal-less skid with empty net goal while Sean Couturier gets first goal in 24 games other than an empty-netter. Flyers (87 points) pull within two points of Penguins in the Atlantic Division but will get no closer.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com