Devils Earn Third Straight Over Flyers

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!

Devils Win Second in a Row

The Devils did it! They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for a second straight game to take two in a row on home ice no less – where wins have been hard to come by. They won tonight by a score of five to three.

The big news out of this one was yet another Devils rookie debut. The seventh such debut tonight was defenseman Kevin Bahl. Bahl slotted in for Matt Tennyson, who was a little bit banged up from Tuesday’s game.

Andreas Johnsson was a scratch for the second straight game while Jonas Siegenthaler and PK Subban remain on COVID Protocol. Aaron Dell was also a scratch as Scott Wedgewood served as the backup.

Bahl played primarily with fellow rookie Ty Smith but did move around. He got some time killing penalties and even helped set up a goal in the second period (although he did not record an assist on the goal).

In net, the Devils went right back to Mackenzie Blackwood who stopped 21 of 24 Philly shots for an .875 save percentage. He let in the Flyers’ only shorthanded shot and stopped one of two of their power play shots. He stopped 20-of-21 at even strength.

The Flyers made a change, turning to Alex Lyon who stopped 14-of-18 Devils’ shots for a .778 save percentage and let in three of the Devils’ five power play shots. He was 11-for-13 at even strength. Lyon was making his third start of the season and looking for his first win since February 1, 2020 when he defeated the Colorado Avalanche.

The Devils ended the night 2-for-4 on the power play while the Flyers were 1-for-2. For the Devils, not quite as efficient as Tuesday night, when they were perfect in killing both of the Flyers power play opportunities and scored on both of their power play chances. That was the first time this season that they had done that.

The first period was the Yegor Sharangovich show, simply put.

Sharangovich got his first on the power play at 8:10 when Damon Severson passed across to him at the near half wall. He played catch with Will Butcher and when he got it back, he just snapped it by Lyon to make it 1-0 Devils.

Sharangovich struck again at the 15:28 mark of the first, also on the power play, when Janne Kuokkanen made a pass to Severson who then found a cutting Sharangovich. Sharangovich scored on the backhand and scored to make it Yegor Sharangovich 2, Philadelphia Flyers 0. Kuokkanen made a nice zone entry to set up the opportunity for Sharangovich later in the play.

But if the Devils have learned anything, it’s to not count the Flyers out.

The second began with Connor Carrick getting under the skin of Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee challenging Carrick. Carrick answer the bell and the two fought at the 5:54 mark.

At 7:14 of the second, Scott Laughton scored unassisted and shorthanded. It happened when Smith lost a puck in the linesman’s skates while setting up the power play. Laughton jumped on the puck and was off to the races. He grabbed it just inside the Philly blue line and broke in on Blackwood, roofing it over him to make it 2-1 Devils.

Jesper Boqvist put the Devils back up by two at nine minutes into the second when Bahl won that puck battle on the boards just outside the Flyers’ zone. He got it to Mikhail Maltsev, who got it to Nick Merkley, who was sprung on a 2-on1 with Boqvist. Merkley set up Boqvist for the one-timer and he scored to make it 3-1.

But again, the Flyers would battle back, cutting the Devils lead back to one before the second period was up.

And it was Sean Couturier again. At the 12:17 mark, he got it to Justin Braun at the point himself from behind the Devils’ net and Braun fired a shot. Couturier cut back in front of the net and redirected the shot by Blackwood to make it 3-2. Jakub Voracek had the secondary assist.

So the Devils were up by one heading into the third a wild finish almost guaranteed.

At the 13:15 mark, Pavel Zacha restored the two-goal lead when Butcher got it to him in the neutral zone. Zacha gained the zone with Nico Hischier. Using him as a decoy, he shot and beat Lyon to make it 4-2.

About 2:30 later at the 15:53 mark, Jesper Bratt made it a two-goal lead when he scored into the net vacated by Lyon with 4:24 remaining in regulation. Zacha and Ryan Murray had the assist as Bratt scored from just above the Flyers’ goal line.

But the Flyers were not done. With about 3:30 to go in regulation, Smith was called for a slash. The Flyers were on the power play.

Konecny scored at the 18:10 mark just after Sharangovich hit the post at the other end trying to complete his hat trick while shorthanded.

Voracek grabbed the puck and gave it to Konecny. Konecny broke in on a 2-on-1 and elected to shoot. He beat Blackwood off the rush to make it 5-2 on the power play.

But the Devils held on when Lyon was pulled again with 1:32 to go in regulation. The final horn sounded and New Jersey had their second straight “W.”

The Devils were outshot 24-19, won just 40-percent of the game’s faceoffs (with Michael McLeod having the best percentage amongst Devils centers, by winning 57-percent of his draws).

Philly outhit the Devils, 19-14 and had less giveaways at six to the Devils’ 13. The Devils had more blocked shots at 15-12.

Individually, Severson led all Devils in time on ice with 21:30 played. Jack Hughes led the forwards with 18:54. Smith led in power play time with 5:28.

Shots were led by Sharangovich and Bratt with four each. Hits were led by Nate Bastian and Bahl with three apiece. Blocks were led by Bastian, Carrick and Smith with two each. Maltsev and Zacha led in takeaways with two each.

Next up, this four-game miniseries comes to its conclusion. The Devils travel down the Turnpike to Philadelphia to Wells Fargo Center for their penultimate meeting with the Flyers this season. Puck drop for that game on Saturday is 7 PM and we will have coverage for you right here following the game.

Until then, stay safe everyone!