For the second time this season, the Devils have earned at least a point in four straight and won three straight. It came at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers as the Devils wrapped up their four-game miniseries against with them tonight. They won 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center.
Some roster news as PK Subban came off of the COVID Protocol list while Jonas Siegenthaler remains. Andreas Johnsson was a scratch as was Aaron Dell. Matt Tennyson remains out with some bumps and bruises suffered over the course of the season. Kevin Bahl played in his second straight NHL game due to Tennyson being out.
In goal, the Devils were right back to Mackenzie Blackwood as Scott Wedgewood backed him up. If not for a late goal by Joel Farabee very late in the game, Blackwood would have pitched a shutout. Instead, he got 31 of 32 Flyers shots for a .969 save percentage. He got all three of Philly’s power play shots and 28-of-29 at even strength.
Philly was back to Brian Elliott who stopped 17-of-21 for an .810 save percentage. He let in New Jersey’s only shorthanded shot and turned aside their lone power play shot. He stopped 16-of-19 at even strength.
Both teams ended the night 0-for-2 on the power play.
The Flyers were actually eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday’s loss to the Devils and a few other scenarios.
The Devils never trailed in this miniseries, technically never falling behind even in the first game at Philly that they lost in a shootout.
The Flyers were in their alternate black uniforms tonight.
Jesper Bratt got the scoring kicked off exactly five minutes into the game. Bahl won a puck battle behind the Devils’ net and got it to Pavel Zacha, who was off on the rush. Zacha passed cross-ice to Bratt, who snaps a shot past Elliott to make it 1-0 Devils. Bahl’s assist on the goal was his first National Hockey League point. He set up the goal with by winning the puck and taking control behind the Devils’ net. Congratulations to him.
The Flyers nearly tied things when, 10:01 into the first, Scott Laughton seemed to score when Yegor Sharangovich swept the puck into the Devils’ net while trying to clear it. Laughton was the last Flyer to touch the puck and would have gotten credit. The call on the ice was a good goal.
However, the Situation Room in Toronto reviewed the goal and found that the puck ended up sitting on the goal line and never actually fully crossed it. The call on the ice was reversed to no goal and the Devils dodged a bullet.
They dodged another one late in the first when Blackwood had to make about five consecutive saves as the Flyers scrambled in front of the Devils’ goalmouth. They did not score and the Devils took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Devils would double their lead in the second when Janne Kuokkanen scored. The Devils waited patiently to get their right breakout out of their zone. Sharangovich got it up ice to Jack Hughes and he curled around near the near faceoff circle. He then set up Kuokkanen at the far faceoff circle for a one-timer. He scored and it was 2-0 Devils. The goal came 52 seconds into the new frame.
A few hit posts in the second came on the Flyers’ first power play when Shayne Gostisbehere, making his return to the Philly lineup, hit the post. That was followed by Bratt making a nice move by Elliott, with a Flyer defender all over him, and hitting the inside of the far post. It remained 2-0 heading into the third.
The Devils got another one when Nico Hischier scored unassisted and shorthanded 5:14 into the third. It came when he stole the puck from Sean Couturier on the penalty kill near the scorer’s table. He then poked the puck around another Flyer defender and broke in on a 2-on-1 with Sharangovich. He used Sharangovich as a decoy and shot, beating Elliott to make it 3-0 Devils. It was Nico’s second career shorthanded goal.
Sharangovich would get one of his own at 14:59 when, off of a turnover, Hughes grabbed the puck in the far corner. He then found Sharangovich in the high slot and he scored. Sharangovich now has a three-game goal scoring streak.
Farabee ended Blackwood’s bid for a shutout at 18:42 when he flew up the left wing and sniped a shot upstairs by Blackwood to make it 4-1, our final. Gostisbehere and Nicolas Aube-Kubel had the assists on the goal.
Team-wise, the Flyers outshot the Devils, 32-21. The Devils won 48-percent of the game’s faceoffs as a team, with Hischier having the best percentage of the Devils’ centers (64-percent). The Flyers outhit the Devils by a wide margin, 30-18. The Devils had 19 blocks to the Flyers’ 12 and the Devils had double the amount of turnovers at ten to the Flyers’ five.
Damon Severson led in time on ice with 21:28 while Hughes led the forwards with 17:44. Hughes and HIschier led in power play time with 2:57.
Hughes and Hischier also led in shots on goal with three each. Nate Bastian led in hits with five, Connor Carrick led in blocks with four and Mikhail Maltsev led in takeaways with two.
Next up, the Devils finally get out of the Philly loop and return home for their final two home games of the year. This starts on Monday against the Boston Bruins. Puck drop for that game is 7 PM and we will, of course, have the recap for you right here.
Until then, stay safe everyone!