Devils Suffocate Flyers
PHILADELPHIA — If Tuesday was bad, Thursday made things leagues worse.
Two deflected point shots proved to be the difference as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. That win evens the season series and may act as some sort of revenge countering a 1-0 Flyers win on Saturday.
In what could be labeled as a perfect road game, the Devils allowed just three clear cut scoring chances all game. Fans continually booed lacking effort from Philadelphia's orange-clad hockey players.
Marty Brodeur's 122nd career shutout came on 22 relatively easy saves.
After the game's conclusion, a players-only meeting was held due to the current state of affairs.
"I think it can be good," head coach Craig Berube said of the meeting post game. "I think they can recognize what they gotta do better as a team."
"It's not a hard game. It's about competitiveness and a will to win, and doing all the litlte things right to win. And right now we're not doing good enough. That's the bottom line."
It did not take long for the Devils to strike. Adam Henrique caught the Flyers napping after tipping a point shot from defenseman Eric Gelinas past Ray Emery to give the Devils a 1-0 lead just under two minutes into the game.
Gelinas originally received credit for the goal, but official scorers correctly changed that before the third period.
A mix of undisciplined penalties and lacking ability to accomplish much with their own man advantages proved to be a significant roadblock. Another woeful performance by special teams killed any chance of garnering any offensive momentum.
The power play came up empty on three opportunities. As a whole, the Flyers have scored just three power play goals at home, and six total.
"The powerplay was outworked tonight," Berube said. "That can't happen."
Blocked shots, missed passes and losing 50-50 puck battles created a chorus of loud boos that permeated throughout the arena.
Scott Hartnell had perhaps one of his worst games in a Flyer uniform. He took a retaliation rough call after hitting Peter Harrold nowhere near the play, and then an interference minor shortly after New Jersey's second goal.
That goal was scored by a man who had three NHL goals coming into this game. Cam Janssen, suiting up for just his first game this season, tipped an Adam Larsson wrist shot past Ray Emery to make it 2-0.
It was Janssen's first goal of the season, his first goal since March 30, 2011, and just his fourth NHL goal since entering the league in 2005-06.
At that point, vigorous booing, isolated derisive chants and floods of fans leaving the premises occurred after that goal. With eight minutes to go, very few fans remained.
Janssen's goal crushed any hope of any comeback on this night. It had been well-documented how both the Devils and Flyers possess an inability to score goals. It showed.
In an attempt to try and create offensive chances, Berube mixed things up in the second frame. Claude Giroux, once again goalless, centered Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn for a few shifts. One scoring chance by Lecavalier is all that line showed. Berube switched it back quickly thereafter by reacquainting Giroux with Hartnell and Jakub Voracek.
Almost as if going through the motions, Flyers forwards accomplished nary a thing in the third period, totaling just six shots.
"I gotta get them to play better. That's my job," Berube said. "That's why I was hired. My job is to get these guys playing better than they are.
Former Flyer Jaromir Jagr put the rather fitting icing on the proverbial cake with an empty netter to make it 3-0.
The Flyers have grabbed three of a possible eight points in four crucial Metropolitan Division matchups. Now at just 4-10-1, they own just two more points than the basement-dwelling Buffalo Sabres.
Brighter skies may exist with a struggling Edmonton team coming to town, but finding a way to win might be near-impossible if the effort from Tuesday and Thursday persists.