Devils Stifle Flyers Non-Existent Offense
The Flyers recent offensive woes are coming at the worst of times with the final month of hockey underway.
One goal is not going to win a team many hockey games and that was the case tonight. Finding the net only once, the Flyers dropped an important Atlantic Division game to the Devils, 4-1, Sunday night.
Martin Broduer was barely tested all game by the Flyers, making 18 saves, including 4-of-5 in the third period.
Making the start in net for Philadelphia was Sergei Bobrovsky, who hasn't played in nearly a month (February 18). He answered the call early, stifling New Jersey's early pressure as the first period began to wind down.
Bobrovsky was bending but not breaking until the Devils went on the game's first power play with under a minute to play. David Clarkson and Patrick Elias skated in on an odd-man rush and Elias put his 24th goal of the season past Bobrovsky to give the Devils a 1-0 lead with 25 seconds left in the first period.
Bobrovsky was showing great positioning and agility as if he never missed a beat but it was all downhill after the bad break he caught late in the first. He made 27 saves on the night, but allowed three goals in the third to keep the Flyers out of reach.
It was the type of performance the Flyers expect from Bobrovsky, who has all but officially become the Flyers back up goalie. With Ilya Bryzgalov rolling, Bobrovsky will have to be able to perform at a high level when his name does get called down the stretch.
The Flyers hadn't scored a goal in regulation since their 5-0 win over the Florida Panthers on March 8.
They snapped that six-period drought early in the third period when Claude Giroux scored 16 seconds into the frame to tie the game.
But New Jersey answered right back, this time Anton Volchenkov on a 2-on-1 with Ilya Kovalchuk to make it 2-1, Devils.
New Jersey added another goal to make it 3-1. Rookie Adam Henrique forced a turnover and brought the puck into the zone. After Bobrovsky made a nice save off Henrique, New Jersey cycled the puck back out front and Kovalchuk ripped it past Bobrovsky for his 30th goal on the season.
New Jersey tacked on one more late in the game on Zach Parise's 28th goal of the season.
With the Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins joining the Flyers in the race for the seed, winning games against the two teams has become more than just a simple two points. The Flyers have one more game against the Devils - this Tuesday at home - and three more games against the Penguins - one on Saturday and two in the final 10 days of the season.