The period was certainly an infuriating one to watch as a Flyers fan. A quarter of the way into the frame a point blast shot from Devils’ Jesper Bratt found its way behind Brian Elliott to give the Devils an early lead. Elliott failed to track the unscreened shot and it clipped his glove and helmet before trickling into the goal.
It seemed like the Flyers answered back relatively quickly when Scott Laughton and Oskar Lindblom worked together to get a real dirty chance pushing the puck through Mackenzie Blackwood’s legs. Except, they didn’t actually. I can’t wrap my head around the “how” of it, but the puck never actually crossed the line, and thus, the Flyers still had some catching up to do.
Though a couple of decent chances would come the their way, Blackwood was locked in, stoning the Flyers through the period, sending the struggling team to the locker room scoreless.
It didn’t even take a minute for the backbreaker. Jack Hughes went cross-ice, finding a wide open Janne Kuokkanen who got all of it, blasting another past Brian Elliott putting the Devils up two.
The Flyers again got chances, they outshot the Devils in each of the first two periods, but Blackwood was unyielding. And the Flyers seemed totally unable to solve him as he turned away all of the shots through two. The powerplay looked good in its one chance in the second, and the penalty kill managed to escape unscathed the only time they were tested, but the Flyers looked thoroughly demoralized heading into the third.
In the third period, a careless Devils penalty sent the Flyers to the powerplay with a chance to start clawing their way back into the game. A flurry around the net certainly made it seem like it was possible before the puck trickled out and got cleared away.
Things went from bad to worse when a still shorthanded Devils team managed a two-on-one and Nico Hischier picked his spot and fired, putting the Devils up three and putting the already downtrodden Flyers team all but out of it.
And I wish I could say that the game ended there. But alas, I can not. An absolutely brutal turnover in their own end led to as sure of a scoring chance one can get, as the Devils’ Yegor Sharangovich buried it, putting the Devils up four with only five minutes left to play. A frustrated Brian Elliot took his frustrations out on his water bottle with a little slam, and you really can’t blame him.
If you were to look for anything positive to take away, at least Joel Farabee managed to spoil Blackwood’s shutout? With a minute left, Farabee let one fly that Blackwood had no idea what to do with, allowing Farabee to tie JVR for most goals this season with 16.
And obviously, that was all she wrote. The Flyers lost 4-1 in their own arena to a Devils team that has been far from good this season. As someone who sat through the entirety of the Flyers 9-0 thrashing by the Rangers earlier this year, this game here may have been more tough to watch. The Flyers just look broken, and every facet of their game just wasn’t working tonight.
The same Devils that lost ten consecutive games earlier this year went into the Flyers arena and thoroughly embarrassed them, making them look like an AHL team, especially in the defensive zone.
The Flyers finally play someone other than the Devils come Monday, when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins, and will be looking to try and wrap up this season with some dignity.