The Philadelphia Flyers hoped to earn their 17th win of the season against a Metropolitan division foe in the New Jersey Devils.
Carter Hart started in-net and faced MacKenzie Blackwood. Blackwood had a 3-2-0 record coming in, with a 1.83 Goals Against Average, and a .947 save percentage. The Flyers had to get more production out of their offense, who ranked 24th in the NHL in Goals-For with 121 on the season thus far.
New Jersey took an early lead to begin the game on a goal from Damon Severson. The Flyers failed to cover the defensive zone effectively and it led to a solid passing display to set up Severson’s sixth tally this year. They did go on to kill two penalties throughout the period and kept the Devils lead at one to end the first. Philadelphia needed to start capitalizing on the offensive chances they created, as they led the Devils seven to four in that category.
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The Flyers received an abbreviated power play opportunity after New Jersey took a penalty while on a power play of their own, but couldn’t find a way to tie the game up on the man advantage. Nico Hischier scored his 13th goal of the season moments after his penalty expired to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Travis Sanheim made a horrible turnover in the neutral zone and Hischier blew by the defense with ease for the partial breakaway goal.
Philadelphia failed to score on another power play halfway through the second, with Blackwood making a couple nice saves on Wayne Simmonds during the opportunity. James van Riemsdyk would finally get one passed the 22 year old New Jersey net-minder, netting his eighth of the year on a two-on-one rush to make it a 2-1 game heading into the third. JvR showed good speed on the play and ignited a two game point streak with the goal in the process.
New Jersey had 44 seconds of power play time to begin the third, but the Flyers killed it off and the score remained the same. That wouldn’t last long, though, with Miles Wood scoring a goal off of the rebound to regain a two goal advantage for his team. Hart wasn’t able to find the puck after making the initial save through traffic and Wood eventually put it home. The Flyers created plenty of chances to try and give themselves a chance to get back in it, and Sean Couturier scored late, but Blackwood got the last laugh as Philly lost the game 3-2.
Philadelphia’s offense again failed to put pucks in the net, which was the main cause of this loss. Hart did enough to keep the Flyers within an arms reach and their penally killing unit went a perfect five-for-five while shorthanded in this game. This marks the 21st time that the Flyers offense haste been able to score at least three goals. The players simply have to do better at finishing their scoring chances.
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The Flyers are now 16-23-6 on the season. Next game is Monday against the Minnesota Wild.