After coming off a loss to the Maple Leafs at home, the Devils travelled down the Turnpike to Philadelphia. In the last three losses the Devils’ offense was nonexistent. Kovalchuk had not registered an even strength point since October 10th. Parise has been missing on the score sheet since October 27th. Johan Hedberg was returning to the cage after getting last game off for the return of Martin Brodeur from an injured shoulder.
The game started off with both teams feeling each other out. The Devils tightened up on defense in the first by holding the dangerous Flyers offense to only 5 shots. A more important stat for the Devils were that they registered 10 shots on Sergei Bobrovsky. The flow of play favored the Devils because they were able to keep up with Flyers top lines. But alas the 1st ended at 0-0.
The second is where the game finally opened up. Right from the start the Devils’ defense was playing looser than they were in the 1st. Zac Rinaldo would put the Flyers up just two minutes into the 2nd. But the Flyers would continue to attack along with the Devils playing sloppy in their own zone. Jagr would find Scott Hartnell wide open across the net mouth to put the Flyers a head 2-0.
The Devils had a choice at that moment to decide to either roll over and die or fight and win in the end. They chose the later. Less than a minute later Parise would get the Devils on the board off a broken play with a backhand slap shot that caught Bobrovsky by surprise. Ilya Kovalchuk would step his game up here. Just three minutes after Parise’s goal Kovalchuk would force a Flyers’ turnover in the offensive zone and fed Adam Henrique for his first career NHL goal. The Devils would go on to outshoot the Flyers 21-9 in the 2nd period. Tied 2-2 at the end of 2.
The 3rd period would be much like the 2nd but a bit more tightly defensive on both sides. Early in the period Max Talbot would block a Mark Fayne shot at the point and was able to beat Fayne for a breakaway only for Fayne to bring him down for a penalty shot. Talbot would convert on the penalty shot to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead. Again the Devils would respond to the deficit when David Clarkson would hammer home the Patrik Elias feed with 6 minutes left in regulation. Regulation would end with both teams tied at 3.
In overtime both teams were not able to really establish any chances. Ilya Kovalchuk would leave the game with about a minute left in the 3rd and would not return. He tried to make it out for the shootout but was not feeling good. He says it’s a lower body injury. The game would have to be decided by a shootout.
Wayne Simmonds would go first for the Flyers only to be stoned by Hedberg. Parise would go first for the Devils and would convert to give them a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Next up for the Flyers was Danny Briere. Briere would take the puck and stop in between the faceoff dots as Hedberg slides 3 feet in front of the crease. Briere continues around Hedberg and score in the wide-open net. They would review the goal only to deem it a good goal. That left the game in Petr Sykora hands but was denied on the forehand by Bobrovsky. Giroux had the chance to put the Flyers ahead but deked himself out of a shot on goal. Elias was given the chance to win the game for the Devils. Elias would score with a backhand shot under Bobrovsky.
A big win for the Devils after being down twice in the game on the road. The Devils played with desperation and got the win. It was a well-deserved victory for the Devils. They need to take that momentum into their home game Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.