The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers meet for the seventh time this season. The Devils will travel to Wells Fargo Center after their two victories versus Philadelphia at Prudential Center. Andreas Johnsson, P.K. Subban, and Jonas Siegenthaler will be out for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood and Brian Elliott will face-off again in net.
The beginning shifts of the game allowed for each team to settle into the pace. Then, Jesper Bratt threw a puck at the net that hit Elliott’s mask and went into the net. Pavel Zacha recorded the primary assist while Kevin Bahl got his first NHL point with the secondary assist. Around the halfway mark of the period, the Flyers believed they tied it, but the goal would be called back because the puck did not completely cross the line. In the last two minutes, Blackwood made a series of saves to keep the Devils in the lead. The period would end with Philadelphia leading 9 to 5 in shots.
The Devils doubled their lead just 59 seconds into the second. Janne Kuokkanen would rifle one past Elliott. Jack Hughes and Yegor Sharangovich would get the assists on Kuokkanen’s goal. At 13:26 of the second, Bratt would take a hooking penalty to send the Flyers to the power play. The Devils’ penalty kill would be successful and kill off the penalty. Soon after, the Devils power play would get a chance. The unit would get quality chances, but Elliott would make great saves to keep the game 2-0. Philadelphia would dominate in shots 22 to 14.
The start of the period showed a push from the Flyers to get back into the game. At 15:31 of the period, Ty Smith took a slashing penalty and the Devils would head to the penalty kill again. However, Nico Hischier would steal the puck and score a shorthanded goal to make it 3-0. The Devils penalty kill would kill the penalty and add a goal to their total. A few moments later, the Devils would head to the power play. The Devils would not get any chances and head back to even strength. At 5:01 of the period, Sharangovich netted another goal against the Flyers to give the Devils a 4-goal lead. Philadelphia would get one from Joel Farabee with a minute remaining. Blackwood would make 30 saves for New Jersey and the Devils would win 4-1.
The Devils were able to take points from all 4 games against the Flyers in the last 4 games. They played well in all four games, but the Devils’ biggest weakness was holding leads. As a young team, it is a valuable learning experience and could help them for the future. Kevin Bahl’s two games against Philadelphia were very promising for the 6’6″ defenseman. He showed poise and lockdown defending, something the Devils are desperate for. The Devils have 5 games remaining on their schedule. New Jersey is back in action on Monday versus the Boston Bruins.