Welcome home Folks. This is the battle of the of a meaningless game between the Philadelphia Flyers (38-33-8) and the New Jersey Devils (27-37-14). It just so happens this is the first game for the Flyers since they were eliminated from playoff contention.
The Flyers are the first team in NHL history to win ten straight games and not qualify for the playoffs. Since the ten game winning streak, the Flyers are 19-23-5. They will miss the playoffs for the second time in three years and it’s a feat they are not proud of.
On Monday morning, Brayden Schenn spoke to the Courier Post about missing the playoffs, “Any team can look back and say coulda, woulda, shoulda. Things happen throughout 82 games in a season. We’ve just been…as a team we’ve been inconsistent. This league if you win one, lose one or can’t put a streak together you’re not gonna make up any ground. That’s what happened from kind of December on.”
With pride on the line against the Devils, the feel good Flyers came out of the shoot determined to make a statement for next season. However, the Devils stole the party winning 1-0, with net minder Steve Mason making 26 saves in the loss.
The Flyers came out of the gate flying. They registered two shots on net in the first minute of play. However, Travis Konecny took a tripping penalty just 42 seconds into the game. On the ensuing power play, the Devils only managed one shot on net. Mason made the easy right pad save keeping the game scoreless.
With the Flyers dominating the Devils through the majority of the opening period, Ben Lovejoy took a cross checking penalty at 10:50. The Flyers yet again could not score on the power play, but they did manage two shots on net. Keith Kinkaid made both saves keeping the game scoreless.
Late in the opening period, the Flyers were clicking on all cylinders. However, Wayne Simmonds took a slashing penalty with 9:40 remaining in the period. On the ensuing power play, the Devils could not muster anything, as the Flyers penalty killers only allowed one shot on net. Mason made a nice blocker save keeping the game scoreless.
The first period came to a close with the both teams playing well at different times throughout the period. Both Samuel Morin and Mike Vecchione made their NHL debuts in the first period. They played well, and both were not fazed by the big stage. The Flyers outshot the Devils 10-9, and they won the faceoff margin 63%-37%.
With pride on the line going into the second period, the feel good Flyers wanted to get off to a good start. However, that seemed to fade when Brayden Schenn took a hooking penalty just 35 seconds into the period. The Devils managed two shots on net for the power play, but Mason made both saves to keep the game scoreless.
Just six minutes later, Kyle Palmieri took a tripping penalty. On the ensuing power play, the Flyers peppered Kinkaid with three shots on net. Kinkaid made all three saves keeping the game scoreless.
Towards the end of the second period, the Flyers were looking to finally solve Kinkaid. They had a great opportunity after Ben Thomson took a cross checking penalty. The Flyers could not muster anything on the power play, and only managed one shot on net. Kinkaid made the easy save keeping the game scoreless.
The Devils had a great opportunity to finally strike gold late in the second period. Wayne Simmonds took a hi-sticking penalty with 2:09 remaining in the period. The Devils managed two shots on net, but Mason made both saves keeping the game scoreless.
Somehow the Flyers still remained scoreless with the Devils at the end of the second period. To no ones surprise, the Flyers outshot the Devils 16-9 for the period, and they won the faceoff margin 60%-40%.
The Flyers entered the third period determined to take command of the game. However, late in the period Michael Del Zotto took a cross checking penalty. On the ensuing power play, the Devils managed two shots on net, but Mason was stellar yet again keeping the game scoreless.
Late in the third period, the Flyers found themselves dominating and man handling the Devils. Blake Coleman took a hooking penalty with just 2:54 remaining in the period. On the ensuing power play, the Flyers threw three shots on net. Kinkaid made all three saves keeping the game scoreless.
The Flyers outplayed the Devils in the third period, thus sending the game into overtime with both teams still searching for their first goal. The Flyers outshot the Devils 34-25 for the game, and they won the faceoff margin 54%-46%.
What an overtime. It was end to end, with both teams getting quality scoring chances. Finally, just 59 seconds into the overtime session, Taylor Hall threaded a nice pass over to John Moore. Moore made no mistake, and deposited the puck past Mason for a 1-0 Devils victory. This was the Devils first win in seven games.
The Flyers showed pride, and they had the heart in this loss to the Devils. At least the team is trying. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the goaltender, as Kinkaid was phenomenal in this one. We got a glimpse of the future with Vecchione and Morin both making their NHL debuts. Morin saved a goal late in the second period to keep the game scoreless. All in all the future is bright in Flyer land.
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Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports