Flyers Come Up Short to Devils
The Flyers, and seemingly everyone else in the Wells Fargo Center, thought they had just completed yet another third period comeback.
With 40.1 seconds left and goaltender Steve Mason sitting on the bench for an extra attacker, it appeared that the Flyers had tied the game at two; however, the goal was immediately waived off by the referee who explained that the goal was disallowed due to contact made by Scott Hartnell with Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.
After a review, the call stood and amid a chorus of boos, the final 40 seconds ticked off the clock and ended a disappointing game for the Flyers in which they dropped 2-1 to the Devils on Tuesday.
Both the players and coach Craig Berube were upset with the call on the ice and expressed this during post game interviews with reporters. Jake Voracek used some colorful language to describe the call, echoing the frustration of others.
The no goal call was only one of the many discouraging moments the Flyers experienced throughout the game. The team went 0-for-6 on the power play and was plagued by a consistent knack for missing the net with shots.
On the other side of the puck, the Devils relied on age and experience to stifle the Flyers.
Brodeur, as he has against them throughout his entire career, completely shut down the Flyers for his 50th career win against them. Holding them to just one goal on 32 shots, Brodeur silenced a red hot Flyers offensive attack that had 18 goals in its last four games heading into tonight.
The Devils leading scorer, Jaromir Jagr, put the finishing touches on the game at the 7:42 mark of the third period as he stuffed the puck just between Mason and the post to make it 2-1. It was career goal No. 702 for Jagr, placing him six behind Mike Gartner for sixth all-time, and No. 42 for his career against the Flyers.
The goal came after the Devils sustained pressure against the Flyers in their own defensive end and the puck was cycled down below the goal line. Marek Zidlicky made a pass to Jagr, who outmuscled Mark Streit at the side of the net and scored the eventual game winner.
The Flyers were outplayed almost all night long, which is a script played out all too much in games against the Devils. New Jersey’s aggressive forecheck gave the Flyers fits all night and the Flyers did nothing to help their own cause.
In the first period, after a defensive breakdown from the Flyers, Travis Zajac made it 1-0 after patiently waiting for Mason to make the first move. Brayden Schenn and Andrew MacDonald both went toward Jagr and the puck, which left Zajac all alone out front with plenty of time and he made them pay.
The goal was the bookmark for a period that the Devils dominated, outshooting the Flyers 13-6 and 10-2 at even strength. It was also the third time in four games that the Flyers found themselves down after the first period.
Bouncing back in a big way in the second period, the Flyers were able to turn the tides. Philadelphia dominated the face-off circle in the period, outshot the Devils 12-7 and most importantly, tied the game.
Just 47 seconds into the period, Nicklas Grossmann fired a wrist shot on net that fooled Brodeur and found its way in, evening the score at one.
It was Grossmann’s first goal since Feb. 20 of last year and only his third overall as a Flyer. The goal also gave Grossmann 12 points on the season, tying his career high.
The loss, coupled with a Columbus Blue Jackets victory, pushes the Flyers down to fourth place in the Metropolitan division and puts them just two points ahead of Detroit and New Jersey for the final wildcard spot in the East.
Looking ahead, the team will begin a stretch of 12 straight games against teams in playoff position, which starts Saturday at home when it takes on heated rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.