After making a furious comeback heading into the third period, the New Jersey Devils fell short and fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. The Devils were marred by penalties and bad luck, hitting the post three times. New Jersey came inches away from winning this game three times, and the power-play kill struggles continued. Michael McLeod also netted his first career goal in the loss.
The Devils came out hot to begin the game. Within the first minute of play, Janne Kuokkanen drew a hooking minor, leading to a power-play. New Jersey generated six shot attempts with the man advantage, but could not get any past Brian Elliott. The Devils dictated the pace of play for most of the first period, generating a decent amount of shots as well. With 6:30 left in the period, Devils winger Andreas Johnsson took a holding penalty.
Philadelphia generated many scoring chances on the power-play. The Devils had a phenomenal chance on a Yegor Sharangovich breakaway, but he hit the post. James van Riemsdyk scored off of a deflection, giving the Flyers the 1-0 lead with about five minutes to go in the first period. New Jersey looked somewhat deflated for the last 5-7 minutes of the first. Philadephia took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period opened up on a disastrous note for the Devils. Just 20 seconds in, Kyle Palmieri took a penalty for interference. And just 39 seconds later, James van Riemsdyk struck again. The New Jersey native potted his second power-play goal of the game, making it 2-0 Flyers. The Devils were badly getting outplayed for a good part of the period. About five minutes after the Palmieri penalty, New Jersey took yet another interference penalty. This time it was PK Subban, who had a horrible game tonight.
The Devils killed off this penalty, just to go on the PK again a few minutes later. PK Subban went to the box yet again but for tripping. New Jersey also killed this penalty as well. With about 8 minutes to go in the period, Miles Wood drew a penalty and also generated a beautiful pass to Michael McLeod who buried it for the goal. It was McLeod’s first career goal. The Devils were within 1 goal and were battling back for the rest of the period. With 3:17 to go in the period, Andreas Johnsson took a wicked writer that was deflected in front by Travis Zajac to tie the game at 2. New Jersey had a ton of momentum heading into the third period after battling back to tie the game at 2.
New Jersey came out shot out of a cannon to start the third period, the total opposite of the second period. About midway through the second, Head Coach, Lindy Ruff changed up the line combos a bit, and to seemed to have been working. The Devils were firing shots, and Andreas Johnsson rang one off the crossbar, putting the Devils inches away from the lead. About two minutes later, with the Devils pouring pressure on, with Damon Severson hitting the post. This was the third time New Jersey hit the post. A few minutes later, Philadelphia had numbers, and they converted. Nolan Patrick scored off of a pass from Claude Giroux, giving Philadelphia the 3-2 lead. The Flyers scored again with 7:24 to go, this time it was Joel Farabee. The game was getting out of reach for the Devils fast, with it now being 4-2. New Jersey could not get much going for a while, and with Scott Wedgewood pulled, the Flyers converted on the empty net opportunity. Ivan Provorov scored with 1:36 left, putting the icing on the cake for a Flyer victory. Pavel Zacha scored a goal for the second consecutive night, with it now being 5-3 with 1:08 to go. The Devils pulled Wedgewood again, but nothing was able to happen. The Flyers were victorious over the Devils 5-3
The Devils had played some good hockey for parts of the game, dominating the end of the second and the beginning of the third period. Some unlucky shots off the post and crossbar pretty much summed up today’s game. If those shots were able to go in, it would have been a totally different game. The penalty kill can use some work as well, going 2/4 on kills. Jack Hughes and Ty Smith were held off the scoresheet for today’s game, which was a rare occurrence in the young season. Heading into a rematch with the Flyers on Thursday, the Devils have to build on some things and they need to stay disciplined in order to win on Thursday. The Devils are back in action Thursday vs the Flyers at 7 PM at the Prudential Center.