Finally the Flyers are back to playing hockey. For some people including myself, it felt like they have not played a game in a month. Heading into the matchup with the New Jersey Devils, the refreshed Flyers were coming off a bye week, and the Devils were coming off a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night.
Both teams were trying to get back on track, with the Flyers being outscored in their last two games 11-3. The Devils on the other hand had their three game winning streak snapped by the Canadiens last night. The Flyers had to bring their best effort in this tilt in order to win.
Before the game Wayne Simmonds was quoted as saying: “We have a lot of hockey to play, and we are still on the playoff picture. Its easy to be optimistic in here. Our commitment to doing everything, back checking, playing stronger in our defensive zone, and creating offensively. We just have to play more like we did at the beginning of the year.”
Whether it was Simmonds words or the fact they have been off the past week, the Flyers were focused and determined. They did not allow the Devils much skating room, but the team found a way to lose 4-1, with Michael Neuvirth making 25 saves.
From the drop of the first puck the building had the feeling of a playoff atmosphere. At 17:21 in the first period, Karl Stollery hooked Jake Voracek for the first penalty of the night.
On the ensuing power play, the Flyers registered their first shot while maintaining good puck movement on it. Keith Kinkaid made three saves keeping the score 0-0.
At 7:11 in the first period, Pavel Zacha scored his 4th goal of the year. Zacha took a back hand shot over Michael Neuvirths glove, giving the Devils a 1-0 lead.
With 8:49 left in the first period, Miles Wood was called for an interference penalty on Claude Giroux. The Flyers only managed one shot on the power play, but as soon as it ended Travis Konecny scored off a deflection for his 8th goal of the year. This tied the game up at one.
At 11:42 in the first period, Nick Cousins took an interference penalty as he skated into the Devils goaltender Kinkaid. The Devils had good puck movement on the ensuing power play, but Neuvirth had all the answers making three saves keeping the score 1-1.
With 4:53 remaining in the first, Wayne Simmonds got into a fight with Miles Wood. Simmonds won of course, but he was issued a roughing penalty as well. Neuvirth made four huge saves on the power play keeping the score tied at one.
The first period ended 1-1 with Neuvirth making 13 saves, and Kinkaid making 9 saves. The Flyers won the face off margin 59%-41%.
With five minutes into the second period, the Flyers seem determined registering four shots on net to the Devil’s two. At 2:53 in the 2nd period, Michael Del Zotto took a tripping penalty. The Flyers did well in killing it off, and limiting them to one shot on net.
With 12:33 remaining in the 2nd period, Damon Severson was called for a roughing penalty on Travis Konecny. The Flyers only registered one shot on the power play, and Kinkaid made the easy save keeping the score 1-1 Devils.
At 12:59 in the second period, Miles Wood was called for a hooking penalty on Michael Del Zotto. The Flyers had three shots on this power play, but Kinkaid had the answers again keeping the score 1-1.
At 15:34 in the second period, Radko gudas was called for a clipping penalty against Miles Wood. On the ensuing power play, Kyle Palmieri scored his 11th goal of the year off of one-timer from PA Parenteau, making the score 2-1 Devils.
With just 48 seconds left in the second period, Miles Wood took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. He put it past Neuvirth for a 3-1 Devils lead.
The period ended with the Flyers and Devils tied in shots at 25, and the Flyers winning the faceoff margin 60%-40%.
At 16:29 in the third period, Pierre Bellemare was called for his 2nd tripping penalty of the night. On the ensuing power play, Miles Wood scored his second goal of the night off good Puck movement making the score 4-1 Devils.
At 14:17 in the second period, Chris Vandevelde took a tripping penalty against Michael Cammeleri, but Neuvirth made two strong saves keeping the score 4-1 Devils.
Jacob Josefsson was called with a tripping penalty against Mark Streit, with 8:03 remaining in the second period. Kinkaid made four strong saves keeping the score 4-1 Devils.
The Devils would go on to win this game 4-1. The Flyers out shot the Devils 11-4 in the third period, and 36-29 for the game. The Flyers also won the face off margin 59%-41%.
The Flyers had the determination and grit, but Kinkaid had all the answers in a game the Flyers had to win. They can not give up as there are 37 games still to be played. The Flyers play the New York Islanders at 6 p.m. tomorrow night. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.