Give the NJ Devils credit because they fell into a 2-0 hole to a very good Flyers team but were able to battle back and find a way to send the game to OT and eventually the shootout, where they skated away with a 4-3 victory.
I thought NJ played a decent first period and didn’t allow the Flyers to find the back of the net but that obviously didn’t sit well with Philly as they came out and owned the first part of the second period. Rinaldo got the Flyers on the board first in what was really a defensive breakdown. Couterier found Rinadlo all alone in front of the net who wristed one past Hedburg.
A few minutes later, Jagr skated from one end to the other and then found Giroux all alone with a wide open net to make it 2-0. Another complete breakdown and all 5 Devils stood around watching Jagr put on a skating clinic and not one Devil picked up the puck or Giroux. That prompted a little outburst by me on twitter.
Captain Zach Parise did exactly what a captain should do, strap the team on his back and backhanded one past Bobrovsky less than a minute after the Giroux goal. Less than three minutes later, Andreas Lilja gave the puck away to Kovalchuk for a 2-on-1 break that Henrique finished for his first NHL goal and a 2-2 tie. The Devils had somehow managed to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole and looked to have the momentum.
Early into the third, Fayne hauled down Talbot who was awarded a Penalty Shot, which Talbot put into the back of the net. The lead lasted until 13:25, when Elias intercepted a Matt Carle clearing attempt and found Clarkson alone in front of the Philadelphia net.
Parise and Elias found the back on the net during the shootout to give the Devils the victory.
Kovalchuk ended up leaving the game with 1:35 and sat out the entire OT and shootout, which was a little concerning. Apparently he’s day to day with a pulled muscle. Hedburg also suffered an injury to his back but was able to complete the game.
It’s hard for me to give anyone on the Devils the MUD award that Deb usually hands out. After the first two Flyers goals, I was going to give it to Larry Robinson for allowing his defense to stand around and watch the Flyers just play with the puck but they, like the rest of the team recovered nicely so there is no need to hand out the MUD award again.
Congratulations to Adam Henrique who got his first NHL goal and ended up with 2 points on the night. Hopefully the Devils have picked up some momentum from this game as the Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets make their way into NJ tomorrow night.