The Flyers fell short in their penultimate Pre-season game in a 4-2 loss against the Devils. It was a game that was almost identical to the form of what we saw last year. A big start with some big performances by individuals that was overshadowed by turnovers, mistakes and doubt.
A lot of those errors came on behalf of Mark Streit. Streit appeared to be the weak link in the team tonight and simply couldn’t get anything going. His play was disjointed and largely a weak spot for the Flyers. This has been the case for the majority of pre-season however so it will be interesting to see if he can find some form in the last pre-season match up before the 37 year old enters his third season with the Flyers.
Philadelphia actually outshot the New Jersey Devils 12-9 in the first, but it was the Devils who struck first. Severson skated his way down the right hand side before laying off a perfect pass to Ruutu who was able to direct the puck past Michal Neuvirth to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The highlight of the period however was this incredible save by Michal Neuvirth..just…wow.
Michal Neuvirth oh lord. What a save. pic.twitter.com/ZUPkAG6gB8
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) September 30, 2015
Neuvirth conceded three goals in a total of 18 shots in the opening two periods before Jason LaBarbera held strong and and stopped all eight shots in the third period.
The Flyers responded promptly following a Chris Porter deflection before the Flyers once again began to excel on the power play. Wayne Simmonds would take full advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to put the Flyers 2-1 up with four minutes remaining in the first period.
Simmonds had a brilliant game. He played very physically, very fast and looked to be in regular season form. Oh, and when stuff like this happens in pre-season, you know he’s more than ready for the start of the regular season.
wayne simmonds getting some work done on the bench by the trainer. keeps prodding at his hand. wayne's laughing though, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— collin mehalick (@collin) October 1, 2015
The Devils rebounded in the second period with a power play goal scored by Palmieri. Then with two minutes to go, the Devils took a 3-2 lead after Zajac found a way to push the puck under Neuvirth, nutmegging him to put his team in front.
But Kyle Palmieri’s game was to be cut short following a collision at the boards. He was soon taken to the bench after a slow recovery and then was further taken off of the bench and out the back for further examination. Tensions were certainly high with Scott Laughton after the incident..
After an empty third period, Zajac put the nail in the coffin on an empty net shot with just over half a minute remaining to seal a 4-2 win in regulation. The sides went on to play a new mandatory demonstration of the 3-on-3 overtime rule which is certainly looking more enticing the more we see it. It’s fast paced, plenty of shooting and brings a whole new dynamic to overtime.