The New Jersey Devils would get another chance at defeating the Philadelphia Flyers after a 5-3 loss on Tuesday. The Devils’ played very well and were the better team for much of Tuesday’s game, but ultimately failed to get the two points. A major piece would be added to the lineup for the Devils with Jesper Bratt finally making his season debut. Carter Hart will be in net for Philadelphia instead of Brian Elliott. Elliott defeated New Jersey on Tuesday with 23 saves on 26 shots. Hart will be going against Scott Wedgewood. Thursday’s game will also be Lindy Ruff‘s 1,500th NHL game as a head coach. The Devils will look to improve their penalty kill and discipline as they committed 5 penalties and allowed 2 goals.
Both teams came out with speed and some sloppiness in the first few minutes of the game. The Flyers threw a few pucks on the net that Wedgewood was able to handle with ease. The Devils new top line of Jesper Bratt, Jack Hughes, and Andreas Johnsson had a shift of 1:10 and were able to get 3 high-quality chances off. After the shift, Damon Severson took advantage of a Flyers line change and sniped a shot past Hart to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. About 2 minutes after the Devils goal, Nate Prosser put away a rebound in an open net to tie the game with 11:37 left in the 1st period. New Jersey’s powerplay would get a chance after an interference call on Travis Sanheim, but would ultimately come up short. The Devils had a dominating 14 shots on goal to the Flyers 4.
The 2nd period was full of chances for the Devils. The Flyers were held to only 4 shots in the 2nd period for a total of 8. New Jersey added 10 shots on goal for a total of 24. The Flyers got a chance on the powerplay after a Pavel Zacha holding penalty but were held scoreless by the Devils penalty kill. New Jersey was also given two more chances on the powerplay, but were ultimately shut down and unable to put one in the net. Though Philadelphia only had 4 shots on goal, Wedgewood had to make good stops to keep the game even at 1. Hart was much busier in the 2nd period. The Devils will have to keep hounding Hart in order to gain the lead in the game. Despite the lopsided shots on goal, the game is still up for grabs.
The Flyers came out looking like a different team from the previous two periods. Philadelphia was pouring the pressure on and converted on a broken play that began with a giveaway in their own zone. Just 2 minutes into the period, the Devils were trailing for the first time in the game. 4 minutes later, the Flyers would make the score 3-1. The Devils had a glimpse of hope left after a Joel Farabee interference call. Unfortunately, P.K. Subban would take a hooking penalty that would force 4 on 4 hockey. After the Flyers 2 goals, the Devils were shut down by Hart and were unable to capitalize on their chances. Their dominating first 2 periods would not be enough to get the two points.
For the second game in a row versus the Flyers, the Devils were the better team for the majority of the game. New Jersey was faster and creating many more chances in the first 2 periods. Then, the Flyers were able to finish their 3rd-period chances. The powerplay for the Devils was extremely poor again and they were not able to convert on 4 chances. The penalty kill was able to kill 2 of the Flyers powerplays. Another area that has been abysmal for the Devils is faceoffs. That problem would continue in this game and cost the Devils a couple of goals. Wedgewood was not the reason for the Flyers goals and held strong in the net. Hart made very good saves to keep the Flyers in the game and ultimately help them with the win. The Devils will play again on Saturday in Buffalo.