Matt Read and Claude Giroux both scored in the shootout to lead the Flyers to a 2-1 shootout victory and a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Max Talbot scored for the Flyers reversed a downward trend versus the Devils beating New Jersey for the first time in the last eight games over the last two seasons. The Flyers have now won two of the last three games. Ilya Bryzgalov was outstanding for the Flyers, stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Bryzgalov was also stellar in the shootout, turning away 2 of 3 Devil attempts.
David Clarkson accounted for the New Jersey’s lone goal. The Devils lost for the first time in eight games versus the Flyers and also saw their two-game winning streak snapped. Johan Hedberg saved 21 of 22 for the Devils. Hedberg stopped 1 of 3 in the shootout loss for the Devils.
If there was ever a game for the Flyers to lose, tonight was one of those games. In typical New Jersey fashion, the Devils neutral-zone trap limited the Flyers chances and strong defense kept the Flyers away from Hedberg. But tonight, the Flyers would not be denied.
Talbot scored for the Flyers at the 15:21 mark of the first period to give Philadelphia 1-0 nothing lead. Matt Read carried the puck into the Devils zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Simon Gagne. Gagne would put a nifty move on Hedberg to get him out of position, as Gagne fed Talbot for an easy empty-net goal at the side of the crease.
“It was a beautiful play,” Coach Peter Laviolette said. “By the lane that he (Gagne) had to the net, and the way he sold it, it was something else. He had his head up, and he made a real nice play on it.”
The Flyers would carry that lead up until the 6:09 mark of the second period as super-pest Clarkson would knot the score at one a piece. Clarkson screened Bryzgalov, as New Jersey captain Bryce Salvador sent a low shot from the point on net that Clarkson redirected passed Bryz.
All night long, dumb penalties and the New Jersey trap marred the Flyers. The Flyers took two penalties, turning a power play into a shorthanded opportunity. The culmination of the Flyers lackadaisical play came with 1:42 remaining in the game as Brayden Schenn was called for a charging penalty, putting the Flyers back on the penalty kill for the duration of the third period and beginning of overtime.
Bryzgalov stood tall for the Flyers both in the third period, but even more so in overtime. Bryz stoned notorious Flyer killer Patrick Elias on two opportunities alone in front of the net, and then twice more while lying on his back.
“There were some real tricky shots early on. He was terrific,” said Laviolette on Bryzgalov
Philadelphia would rely on an unfamiliar friend to win the game: the shootout. Read would begin for the Flyers going five-hole on Hedberg. Ilya Kovalchuk would put on a beautiful deke on Bryzgalov to tie the shootout.
Captain Giroux would then shoot for the Flyers. Following Read’s lead, Giroux deked Hedberg and went five-hole for what would be the winning goal in the shootout.
“It’s one game, and we need to win more,” Laviolette said. “It’s something to build off of.”
Game Notes: The Flyers were 0-3 on the power play. On the penalty kill, the Flyers were 5-5, including killing off a five-on-three.