The Devils arguably played their best hockey of the season and it came against one of the Devils biggest rivals in the league, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils were able to score 5 goals in the game as they blew out the Flyers 5-2 in front off another sold out crowd at the Prudential Center. Adam Henrique added a pair of goals with Kovalchuk, Elias, and Loktionov, all adding goal tallies. This was the first time that the Devils scored five goals in a game since Feb. 15th, against Philadelphia. With the win, this marks seven games in a row dating back to last year that the Devils have beaten the Flyers. The Devils improve to 13-9-5 (31 points) on the year and continue to hold down the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference.
In the first period the Devils were able to establish their presence early as Patrick Elias was able to score the first goal of the game (9th goal of season), with the assists going to Adam Henrique and Steve Bernier.
With the Flyers on the powerplay for a Ryan Carter tripping, Jakub Vorachek netted his 13th goal of the year and tied the game at one half way through the first.
Not even a minute later, Adam Henrique scored for the Devils (8th goal of season) to put them back on top 2-1.
Philadelphia was givien another chance on the powerplay but Ilya Kovalchuk had something to say about that as he was able to snipe a wristshot past Ilya Bryzgalov for another shorthanded goal (4th shorthanded goal of season) as the Devils began to pull away with a 3-1 score.
The shots were 11-9 in favor of Philadelphia.
As the second period starts the Devils are obviously in full control of the game, completely out playing the Flyers in nearly every aspect of the game. It continued to show as Loktionov, with an awesome toe drag, was able to wrist a shot between the legs of Ilya Bryzgalov (4th goal of season) making it a 4-1 game.
Johan Hedberg continued to put up strong saves, stopping every shot that came his way in the second period. He would finish the game with a total of 24 saves and gathering a much needed win.
The shot totals were 13-7 in the second and 22-18 overall, both in favor of New Jersey.
The third period was pretty much like the first two, the Devils in complete control.
With a Philadelphia carry over penalty into the third, Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the game (9th goal of season), with assists from Loktionov and Zid and put the Devils in the drivers seat with a commading 5-1 lead.
Needing a spark for his team, Scott Hartnell would take the game into his own hands. He managed to take every single penalty for the Flyers in the third which consisted of a boarding, slashing, unsportsmanlike conduct, and another slashing. On the boarding call, he tried to take out the Devils best player Ilya Kovalchuk by trying to apply a hard elbow to him.
Kostopolous then officialy (IMO) became a Devil was when he laid a vicious check on Scott Hartnell leading to an outpour of tweets with the hastag #HartnellDown.
Hartnell however added a goal for Flyers as he put a high shot past the lunging Hedberg, giving the Flyers their second goal of the night, but still way behind.
The Devils outshot the Flyers 10-7 and owned the shot total for the game, 32-25. Most importantly was the scoreboard as the Devils finished the blowout in Newark, 5-2 being the final.
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
The Devils will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers this Friday and complete the home and home series between these two teams. Until Friday, Go Devils!