Despite allowing a goal in the final minute of regulation, the Philadelphia Flyers managed to leave the Prudential Center with the win, as Brayden Schenn potted the game-winner in overtime for the 3-2 decision over the New Jersey Devils. The tally gave the younger Schenn, who suffered a noticeable cut from a skate in the mid section, a two-point affair, while both Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell scored for Philly in the win.
Ray Emery made 31 saves in the victory and played much better than anticipated, as only Adam Henrique and Michael Ryder were able to beat him tonight. Martin Brodeur suffered the defeat in a 25-save effort. The numbers don’t look good for Emery, as the team allowed a goal in the game’s first and final minute of regulation, but one could easily argue that both of the Devils’ goals weren’t his fault. Emery may have been fighting the puck on some rebounds, but he did a great job of putting himself in the best situation possible to keep New Jersey from scoring.
After Ryder scored with just under 30 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at two, Nicklas Grossmann made a wonderful play, as he faked a slap shot and made a slap pass to Schenn across the ice. The fake was able to drop Brodeur to the ice and allowed the younger Schenn to kick the puck to his stick and beat the Devils’ netminder for his 11th of the campaign.
It’s amazing how far this team has come over the last few months. They play in a bad division and they aren’t playing the toughest opponents each night, but the Flyers are finding ways to win and winning routinely. This type of game, where they couldn’t score for the first 45 minutes of the tilt and allowed a game-tying goal late, was without a doubt a loss earlier in the season. Now, the Orange and Black fight off the adversity and do what it takes to grab the two points.
The line of Hartnell, Schenn, and Wayne Simmonds keeps chugging along, as the trio totaled four points tonight to help the Flyers end their six-game road trip 5-1-0. Hartnell had a quietly great game, as he provided a great screen on Giroux’s tally and looked strong in the offensive zone. Along with this line, the top line of Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Michael Raffl returned to form after Raffl missed Saturday’s game.
The Orange and Black found themselves with a deficit to start the third period for a third straight game, but for the second game in a row the squad rallied back. This time, it was a power-play goal from Giroux and a tally from Hartnell on the rush to secure the point.
With Mark Fayne in the sin bin for interference, Giroux was able to rip one through traffic to beat Brodeur, who apparently couldn’t see the shot through the bodies in front.
Hartnell put the Flyers ahead with a nice cross-ice give-and-go with Schenn, as Hartnell ripped one five-hole on Brodeur to make it 2-1 with 10:11 left in regulation.
It looked as though it was going to be enough for Philadelphia, especially when Travis Zajac was called for a high-sticking minor with less than two minutes to play. Unfortunately for Philly, Ryder slammed home his 14th of the season after Marek Zidlicky found him at the far post with just under 30 seconds left in regulation.
As for the game’s first goal, it didn’t come a minute into play, as Henrique was the benefactor of a beautiful play by Jaromir Jagr.
After Henrique tossed the puck to Jagr along the boards at the blue line, Jagr worked his way to the goal line to Emery’s left. With a pass to the crease, Henrique was able to put a stick on the puck and put it past Emery 57 seconds into the tilt to hand New Jersey the advantage. It was Henrique’s 10th goal of the season and tied Jagr with Mario Lemieux for seventh in points on the NHL’s all-time leaders list with 1,723 points.
The Orange and Black return home to host the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night.
Notes: With the win, the Flyers are the second team to beat the Devils this season when trailing after 40 minutes. New Jersey is now 10-0-2 when leading after two periods…Hartnell extended his point streak to a career-high eight games with his goal in the third period. He has four goals and five assists with a plus-9 rating in that span…Giroux’s power-play goal in the third period was the first power-play goal by either team in the three contests they’ve played against each other this season…After missing Saturday’s game, Raffl had two shots on goal and five hits with one takeaway in 16:36 TOI tonight…With the win tonight, Emery has wins in back-to-back games for the second time this season. He also beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres eight days apart in November…Jagr was plus-1 with an assist and seven shots on goal in 20:10 TOI against his former team. Dainius Zubrus was minus-1 with two shots on goal in 20:10 TOI…The Flyers improved to 2-1-0 against the Devils this season. Philly is now 14-10-3 against the Eastern Conference and 8-5-2 against the Metropolitan Division…The Orange and Black are now 22-17-4, which puts them over a .500 winning percentage for the first time since the end of the 2011-2012 campaign…The Flyers are 22-17-4 this season. They were 19-21-3 after 43 games last season.