The Philadelphia Flyers dropped a 3-0 contest to the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. Ryan Carter, Matt D’Agostini, and Adam Henrique had the goals for Jersey in the win, while Martin Brodeur posted a 23-save shutout to end the Devils’ 10-game losing streak and hand New Jersey their first win in April.
Ilya Bryzgalov suffered the loss despite the fact he made five more saves than Brodeur and the puck was in his end of the ice for most of the tilt.
The visitors were the better team tonight, as the Devils spent most of the game in the Flyers’ zone and outshot the Orange and Black 31 to 23.
“It was almost like men playing with kids,” Scott Hartnell said quite blunt after the defeat. “We lost pretty much every battle.”
The loss was essentially a synopsis of this season for the Flyers, as they came out on the wrong side of a contest they needed to win due to the fact they were outplayed. With only four games left in the season, it’s nearly impossible for the Flyers to make the playoffs.
When asked about the Flyers’ inability to do the some of the simple things tonight, Peter Laviolette talked about how there might be some added pressure when playing the Devils, who the Flyers only beat once this year.
“We had some opportunities to shoot and we looked for something better,” Laviolette said. “I think it goes back to the opponent. The simplicity of what you do. Take the simple shot, make the simple play. Not try to do too much.”
The Devils came out strong in the first period and mounted a 9-6 shot advantage due to their strong puck possession, but they couldn’t grab a lead after 20 minutes of competition.
After Matt Read had a scoring chance in the slot and Danny Briere was denied a wrap-around attempt, Jakub Voracek was hit with a holding minor just plays later to put the Devils on the game’s first power play.
The man advantage didn’t amount to much, as New Jersey failed to create any scoring chances and Ruslan Fedotenko killed a good chunk of time. The former New York Ranger was able to grab the puck in the defensive end and nearly create a scoring chance at the other end just before the penalty ended.
New Jersey did grab the 1-0 lead in the second period, however, as a bad play by the Flyers in the neutral zone led to a goal from Carter.
Both Erik Gustafsson and Simon Gagne helped in handing the Devils the puck in the neutral zone to start an odd-man rush led by Stephen Gionta. The forward skated into the circle to Bryzgalov’s left before he dished a pass cross ice to Carter, who beat Bryz with a wrister. The tally came 5:36 into the second period.
Following a brief barrage from the Devils, the Orange and Black thought they had tied the game at one, but it was deemed that Voracek had put the puck past Brodeur with a distinct kicking motion.
As the puck came to Voracek at the side of the net and Brodeur out of position, the forward moved his foot towards the puck to help it across the goal line. The play was briefly reviewed and the call on the ice stood, as the Devils held on to their one-goal lead.
Brayden Schenn was then called for a trip, but the Flyers were able to kill it off before they enjoyed a power play of their own minutes later.
After an obvious boarding call on Andy Greene for a hit on Scott Hartnell, the refs called Henrik Tallinder for holding late in the second period.
Philly, like New Jersey on their first two power plays of the game, failed to score with the man advantage and entered the third period down by one goal.
The final stanza started with some four-on-four action, as Wayne Simmonds was called for roughing and Henrique was called for slashing after the final whistle of the second period. Nothing came from the scenario, as the Devils applied all the pressure following the stretch of four-on-four action.
The time in the Flyers’ zone ultimately led to a Simmonds’ slashing minor near the halfway point of the final frame.
Philly killed off the penalty and nearly tied the game when the action returned to even strength. Claude Giroux had the puck all alone in front after he received a cross-ice pass from Gagne along the boards, but couldn’t beat Brodeur to tie the game.
D’Agostini put the contest away late with his third of 2013.
Philly continues the season on Saturday with a visit to North Carolina to take on the Hurricanes.
Notes: Before Carter’s goal in the second period, the Devils had gone 146:13 without a goal. They were shut out in their previous two games…The Flyers dropped to 5-16-1 in games where their opponent has scored first. They also dropped to 2-14-0 when trailing after two periods…Mike Knuble had two hits and a blocked shot in 9:30 TOI. He took place of Jay Rosehill in the loss…The Flyers finished this season 1-4-0 against the Devils with their lone win coming in a 2-1 shootout on March 15th. Philly hasn’t beaten the Devils in regulation since March 13th, 2012, a span of 10 games including the teams’ 2012 ECSF series…The Flyers dropped to 5-10-2 against the rest of the Atlantic Division (PIT 1-2-1, NYI 1-1-1, NYR 2-3-0, NJD 1-4-0)…The Flyers dropped to 19-22-3. They were 27-13-4 after 44 games last season.