The Philadelphia Flyers were embarrassed at the Prudential Center tonight, as they lost to the New Jersey Devils 5-2.
Adam Henrique had two goals in a three-point performance and Johan Hedberg earned the win for Jersey with 23 saves, as the Devils notched their first victory in regulation at home since the last time they faced the Flyers on February 15. Patrik Elias and Andrei Loktionov each had a goal and an assist in the win.
Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell each had two-point nights for Philly, as Hartnell had the secondary assist on Voracek’s goal in the first period and Voracek had the primary assist on Hartnell’s tally in the third period.
Ilya Bryzgalov, who said earlier in the week that if the Flyers lose both games in their current home-and-home they were “done,” had a rough night, allowing all five goals on 32 shots.
“To be honest, I have no idea what to say to you guys,” Bryzgalov said after the tilt. “I’m just tired of losing. Another disappointing loss. We’ve been doing this all year long, and we just continue.”
The Orange and Black may have had a 29-18 advantage in hits and a 15-8 advantage in blocked shots, but there wasn’t much fight from the Flyers until the game was 5-1. Even after the Devils scored their fifth goal of the evening, the only visitor that seemed to show any emotion to the fact they were down by four in a crucial game was Hartnell, who recorded four minors in the final stanza.
“This one hurts. It stings,” Hartnell said following the loss. “You can use any adjective you want, but tomorrow is a new day. We have to come to the rink with a new attitude and get through this. This is frustrating hockey.”
For the third time this year, the Devils jumped out to an early lead. Instead of Travis Zajac scoring the opening goal it was Elias that put Jersey on top just 2:02 into the affair.
Thanks to an Andrej Meszaros turnover from behind the Flyers’ net, Steve Bernier caught the puck in the slot. Bernier worked it to Henrique, who then passed it to Elias right in front of the net. Elias backhanded home his ninth of 2013 past Bryzgalov for the 1-0 advantage.
Later in the period, the Flyers tied the game with a Voracek power-play tally.
Zac Rinaldo drew his second penalty of the game when Ryan Carter tripped him in the Flyers’ zone on a scary knee-to-knee incident. With Carter in the box, Hartnell found Wayne Simmonds at the right side of Hedberg’s net, who then threw it to Voracek in the circle on the opposite of the ice. Voracek beat a sprawling Hedberg for his 13th of 2013 with 10:15 left in the opening stanza.
The game was only tied for 36 seconds before a Henrique shot from the point hit off of Bryzgalov’s right leg pad and banked in off Matt Read’s behind to restore Jersey’s lead.
The Devils tacked on a shorthanded goal before the end of the first stanza to enter the second period up by two.
After Simmonds drew an interference minor out of Bryce Salvador following a faceoff in the Devils’ zone, a puck bounced past Read at the point and led to an Ilya Kovalchuk breakaway chance. With a wrist shot that beat Bryz’s glove high, Kovalchuk had his 10th of the year with 2:42 left in the first period.
In the second period, Loktionov extended the lead to three with his fourth of the campaign.
From Jersey’s zone, Alexei Ponikarovsky hit Loktionov on a stretch pass to start a two-on-two the other way for the hosts. Thanks to Braydon Coburn dropping to the ice in an attempt to take away the passing lane, Loktionov curled the disc around the sliding blue liner and beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot blocker side to make it 4-1 in favor of the Devils with 13:29 left in the second period.
In the third period, Henrique scored his second of the night early on the third period to make it 5-1
With Bruno Gervais still in the sin bin for closing his hand on the puck, Henrique worked his way to the bottom of the circle to Bryzgalov’s left and beat Philly’s netminder with a backhander past his glove for his ninth of the year.
Hartnell finalized the score with less than four minutes to play. After Voracek carried the puck into the neutral zone he tossed it over to Hartnell, who beat Hedberg from the bottom of the circle to the goalie’s right.
Philly will have their chance for revenge against the Devils on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Notes: The Flyers have lost three straight games on the road and fell to 4-11-0 away from home this year…Bryzgalov tied a season-high with five goals against tonight. He has allowed five goals against once before this year, as he earned the win in the Flyers’ 6-5 win in Pittsburgh on February 20…The Devils ended a nine-game streak where they didn’t record a win in regulation. Since their last regulation win, a 3-2 victory over the Capitals in Washington on February 21, the Devils were 2-6-1 with two shootout wins before tonight’s contest…Luke Schenn didn’t play tonight, as he missed his first game as a Flyer with the flu. Kurtis Foster a hit and a takeaway in 10:46 of ice time in Schenn’s spot…Tonight was Kimmo Timonen’s 998th NHL game and Max Talbot’s 497th…Kovalchuk’s shorthanded goal was his fourth of the season. He leads the league in the category and is the only player to pot more than two shorthanded tallies, as Henrique and Brad Marchand are tied for second in the NHL with two…Hedberg recorded his first win in regulation since he was in net for the Devils’ win against the Penguins on February 10. He went 10 decisions without a regulation win, as he posted a record of 2-7-1 with two shootout wins during the stretch…The Flyers dropped to 0-3-0 against the Devils this season and to 3-7-0 against the rest of the Atlantic Division (PIT 1-2-0, NJD 0-3-0, NYR 1-2-0, NYI 1-0-0)…The Flyers’ record is now 12-15-1. They were 18-7-3 after 28 games last season.