Flyers Shut Out For the Fourth Time, Lose 3-0 to New Jersey

Flyers' Mike Yeo and Morgan Frost
NEWARK, NJ – DECEMBER 08: Philadelphia Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo during the first period of the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers on December 8, 2021 at the Prudentil Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Earlier, we learned that Mike Yeo will head the Philadelphia Flyers through 2021-2022. With him, Nick Schultz will coach the defense. Together, these two collaborate to make a game plan to ward off a potential ten-game losing streak.

The New Jersey Devils are reeling. They’re 2-5-3 in their last ten games. The Flyers are even worse, flailing at 1-7-2 over their last ten games, including a coaching change. It’s the unexpected that gives Philadelphia an edge, especially with one additional return.

Derick Brassard has been inserted back into the lineup as the 4LW.

It’s the closest the Flyers have been to healthy in a long time. Philadelphia misses Joel Farabee and Ryan Ellis, while the Devils miss Miles Wood for an indefinite timespan.

First Period

Chuck Fletcher emphasized defense this week. He claimed Kevin Connauton off waivers from the Florida Panthers and made sure Nick Schultz was on the bench with Mike Yeo as the Philadelphia Flyers went on the road to visit the New Jersey Devils.

Rasmus Ristolainen led by example, clearing the porch for Carter Hart through the opening period. Hart stopped every puck fired at him, holding an opponent scoreless for the first time in seventeen periods. His best save came before a successful clear on the penalty kill. James van Riemsdyk served for cross-checking, and Jack Hughes aimed to take advantage. Hart made a diving save, coming up huge in a man disadvantage.

As play continued, the Devils began to take the pace. New Jersey had more affluent and quality scoring opportunities, but the goaltending remained superb. At the end of the first, the game remained scoreless, 0-0.

Second Period

The dreaded second period has haunted the Philadelphia Flyers. From missed calls to poor execution, it all contributed to the New Jersey Devils’ lead.

“It really all comes down to our puck play. You have to be able to execute the first shift of the second period.”

Mike Yeo; 12/8/2021

Opening the period, Zack MacEwen clearly won the race to cancel an icing call, but the referee called it anyway. Later in the period, Jonas Siegenthaler cross-checked Travis Konecny in the face as a referee looked on. No penalty. Away from the scoreboard, the Flyers had an uphill battle.

Jesper Bratt put Travis Sanheim in the spin cycle. Sanheim knocked the stick out of Carter Hart’s hands before Bratt sniped the first goal. After the Devils killed a penalty drawn by Konecny, Konecny then served a penalty leading to another New Jersey goal. Dawson Mercer deflected a shot from the blue line by Ty Smith past Hart. The Devils led, 2-0, and nearly by three goals, but Pavel Zacha was offsides when Mike Yeo challenged.

Heading into the third period, New Jersey is on the powerplay. Sean Couturier has 1:55 remaining on a tripping penalty. Philadelphia is 2/3 on the PK through two periods.

“I thought our penalty kill did a good job. Obviously, they got the one there off a redirect in front. Tough break, but you got to look at the big picture. I think our PK has improved from last year.”

Carter Hart; 12/8/2021

Third Period

Down by two goals, the Philadelphia Flyers were still in the game. The scoreboard showed the worst lead in hockey. To come back in this game, the Flyers had to compete.

“I thought we looked a little bit safe tonight in certain times. Obviously, you want to be responsible, you want to be smart, but when you’re safe, you end up being in-between.”

Mike Yeo; 12/8/2021

Nathan Bastian was a pest to open the period in Philadelphia’s defensive zone. Dawson Mercer looked like Cale Makar, cutting the Flyers defense to ribbons with an offensive zone entry.

“We don’t expect perfection; it’s not going to happen. We’re going to have the right intention; play with urgency. You have to want the puck on your stick.”

Mike Yeo; 12/8/2021

One player continues to play with urgency. Cam Atkinson played passionately, cutting through the neutral zone to intercept Pavel Zacha. In a lifeless third period, Atkinson showed a flash of vital signs. Still, MacKenzie Blackwood turned away his shot.

Michael McLeod turned in an empty-net goal to push the final score in favor of the New Jersey Devils, 3-0.

Up Next

Next up, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. The puck drops at 10pm.