The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are stumbling a bit through the dog days of the 2011-12 season, which has opened the door for the surging New Jersey Devils. Peter DeBoer’s team is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, including a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens tonight:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
The Devils are now in fourth place with 72 points, leaving them one point ahead of both the fifth place Flyers The Devils have 34 wins to 32 for Philly and 26 for Pittsburgh, although New Jersey has lived off of shootouts with a whopping 10 of their 34 victories coming via the skills competition. That leaves the Flyers with 31 regulation/overtime wins, the Penguins with 26 and the Devils with only 24.
It sets up for an interesting race for the four to six seeds, although this study of the Southeast Division race makes an argument that the team that “falls” to the sixth spot could be the real winner – at least in the first round.