Flyers Denied 1000th Home win lose 3-1 to Devils
The Flyers are currently leading the league in wins, points and goals for and were facing the New Jersey Devils who are dead last in the league in wins, points, and goals for, averaging 1.96 per game.
Unfortunately for the Flyers the Devils would reach their average in the first period when they scored two goals against a lackadaisical Flyers team. The Flyers failed to score on early power play thanks to Patrik Elias, this would be the only penalty of the period.
The Devils would get on the board just over three minutes after killing off the Flyers penalty.Henrik Tallinder knocked down a weak clearing attempt by Mike Richards and slapped it high over a sliding Nodl and passed a well screened Brian Boucher for the Devils 1-0 lead.
The lack luster play would continue and the Devils would take advantage of that with about eight minutes left in the first period. Patrik Elias would score a weak goal that Boucher would want back, but if he could take all the "want backs" back he would probably need to rent a storage unit to handle the load.This would give the Devils a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Flyers were outshot by the Devils 10-5. The Flyers came out better in the second period but still looked bad in their defensive zone coverage. They also had too many give aways and at times the Flyers looked like they were standing still as the Devils buzzed around in the Flyers zone.
Despite the Flyers being out skated at times they successfully killed off three Devil power plays in the second period. With seconds left and the period about to end the way it started, Richards skated up the right wing and back handed a cross ice blue line to blue line pass on the tape of Giroux who back handed a loft pass to JVR who tipped it on his backhand passed Hedberg to put the Flyers on the board with twenty seconds left in the period. The Flyers would outshoot the Devils 10-6 and head into the intermission down one, 2-1.
The third period would get underway with the Flyers needing their best effort of the night if they wanted to win this game. Six minutes into the third the Flyers would get a power play when Giroux was checked from behind int the boards by Anton Volchenkov.
It looked bad but Giroux got right up with a smirk on his face. The Flyers would come up short on the power play dispite having good puck possession and puck movement the whole two minutes. They would continue to put even more pressure on the Devils after the power play, generating multiple scoring chances until the play leveled out at the ten minute mark of the third.
With four minutes left the Flyers had their next best chance to tie the game up when Briere tried to sneak a wrap around in on Hedberg who made the save. Hedberg would again come up big with 2:45 left in the third when Richards made a cross ice pass to Carter who failed to lift it high enough over Hedberg who slid across and made a glove save.
Shortly after the Flyers would ring one off the post from a point shot. With just over two minutes left in the third Giroux would be called for a cross check forcing the Flyers to pull their goalie just to get to even strength .
With one minute left in the game Laviolette would call a time out to draw up a play after the Devils had ice the puck. The Flyers would get a great chance when Briere found the lose puck and fired it on net from just outside the crease area.
Dispite the Flyers late efforts, with 41 seconds left in the game Patrik Elias would score on an empty net icing the 3-1 Devils victory ending a six game losing streak at the Wells Fargo center and denying the Flyers franchise their 1000th home victory.
The Flyers did not play hockey for a full sixty minutes again today and may have been looking ahead a little to facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow.
The Devils have played well since their last meeting with the Flyers and it showed tonight. The Flyers did not get the start they needed to today and let the Devils set the tone of the game. The Devils may not be making the playoffs this season but they are still playing for their jobs and their new coach.
The Devils are up against the cap and will make moves in the off season to rid them selves of some of that cap space. Hedberg kept the Devils in this game especially in the third period when the Flyers finally woke up.
Unfortunately for the Boucher that weak Patrik Elias goal was the difference in today's game. The defensive zone play did not help any either having multiple turnovers in the second period today.
The Flyers will travel to Chicago for a nationally covered rematch of the Stanley Cup Finals last season with the Blackhawks. They will need to get off to a better start tomorrow if they want to salvage this weekend.