Offensive woes continue for Flyers
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- As has been the case through their first two games, the Flyers got off to a slow start and struggled with special teams once again.
Bad mistakes, bad bounces and an overall bad effort lead the Flyers to a 3-0 loss against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night.
The Flyers have failed to get the first goal in each of their first two games thus far and that trend continued on Tuesday evening.
Just 67 seconds into the game, Devils winger and former Flyer Dainus Zubrus brought the puck behind the net and passed it back out to defenseman Bryce Salvador. Salvador ripped a shot from the point and winger Travis Zajac pounced on the rebound for an easy goal.
The Flyers failed to have anyone around the net and couldn't clear the puck, leaving netminder Ilya Bryzgalov out to dry once again.
The Devils controlled play early on and pressured the Flyers in their own zone. They were also extremely physical.
The Flyers had two power-play opportunities on penalties to Mark Zidlicky and Ilya Kovalchuk but only mustered one shot on goal.
As if their recent power-play inefficiency wasn't bad enough, Devils netminder Martin Brodeur stood on his head for the entire game, especially in the first two periods.
Midway through the first period, the Flyers stepped up the offensive pressure. Scott Laughton and Scott Hartnell were both robbed at point-blank range by Brodeur.
Brodeur stopped all 21 shots that he faced for his first shutout of the season and second impressive victory of the year.
In a wave of bad luck that seemed to surround the Flyers tonight, New Jersey winger David Clarkson added a late first period tally on a shot that richoeted off of Ruslan Fedotenko and found the back of the net. Clarkson took the puck from behind the net and threw it off Fedotenko for the easy goal, giving New Jersey the 2-0 lead.
Despite having a 9-3 advantage in shots in the opening period, the Flyers still found themselves in a 2-0 hole. Shotty special teams and some bad luck certainly had a lot to do with that.
Just 2:44 into the second period, Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was on a breakaway with a clear path to Bryzgalov but was partially hooked from behind by defenseman Kimmo Timonen. The hook resulted in a penalty shot and Kovalchuk proceeded to beat Byrzgalov with the back-hand on the penalty shot to give the Devils a 3-0 lead.
Despite giving up three goals, Bryzgalov continued his stellar play. The Russian goalie stopped 23 of 26 shots and came up with a wealth of big saves in the final two periods to keep the game where it was.