Flyers stunned by Nico Daws, Nico Hischier in Stadium Series loss

Nico Hischier took over against the Flyers as the Devils never looked back in the 6-3 victory.
Nico Hischier took over against the Flyers as the Devils never looked back in the 6-3 victory. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers would probably be okay if they never played in an outdoor game again. They dropped to 1-4-1 when the game goes outside, courtesy of a 6-3 loss against the Devils at MetLife Stadium.

It was an important game for Philadelphia, who could distance themselves further from the Devils and those behind them. Instead, a nine-point cushion turned into a five-point deficit for New Jersey in the standings. It's momentum lost for the Flyers, who didn't look bad. They weren't able to take charge of any momentum and were chasing the game from an offensive standpoint the entire night.

Throwing 48 shots on the net should typically yield you more than three goals. It did for the Devils as they scored those six goals on 40 shots, though the last came via an empty netter. So it's not as if the Flyers were not trying to score as much as possible. They were simply shut down by Nico Daws.

Quick Starts for Devils

There is no better way to start a game than scoring in the first minute. How about the first 30 seconds, though? That's what Nico Hischier did for the Devils. With the Flyers deep in the offensive zone, the puck took a weird bounce off an official's skate and ricocheted to neutral ice. Hischier was the only one there and raced toward Sam Ersson for the breakaway. No one could catch him, as he went with the backhander behind the Flyers' goaltender. Just 32 seconds in, and the Devils were off.

That was the first of three goals for the Devils' captain. His second goal was early in the third period and may have been the dagger. The Flyers had gotten it back to a two-goal game in the late stages of the second period. The next goal would be an important one, either making it a one-goal deficit or stretching the lead back to three. Hischier chose the latter.

Philadelphia couldn't get control of the puck in their zone. A pass around the net was taken away, and John Marino was able to keep the play alive. Jesper Bratt rifled a pass to the slot for Hischier. The latter took care of the rest as he snapped one high over the shoulder of Ersson. That came 2:48 into the third period. It wasn't a true backbreaker, as Philadelphia did get within two goals once more. However, it made the comeback harder.

Penalties Galore

There were plenty of penalties in this game. Four in the first and six in the second equated to almost 20 minutes spent either on the power play or at 4-on-4. It can disrupt the flow of the game, and it caused the Flyers to squander any momentum they had when Owen Tippett scored to make it a one-goal game. Philadelphia was in a good spot to take advantage. However, Travis Konecny took an ill-advised slashing penalty against Brendan Smith a little over three minutes after Tippett's goal. It was retaliatory and unnecessary, ending a Flyers' power play 39 seconds into it.

Less than three minutes later, the Flyers were back on the penalty kill courtesy of a Nick Seeler high stick. As they have done before, Philadelphia stood tall. They killed off all five of the Devils power plays. They even scored on one of their man advantages as well. That goal was Tippett's second of the night, coming after two goals in 1:12 from the Devils. But the Devils had already seized control and would not give it up.

The goal that Tippett scored in the second period was the closest that the Flyers would come.

Sam Ersson's Struggles

John Tortorella was quick to say that Sam Ersson was not the reason the Flyers lost this game. While it is a fair point, Ersson struggled and needed to make a save or two at different points of the game to keep the Flyers in it. The elements are different outside, and goaltenders typically find it the hardest to play. But Nico Daws was playing with the same factors as Ersson, and he did not find trouble with it.

Daws was locked in from the start and made a career-high 45 saves in the victory. It was also the most saves made by a goaltender in an outdoor game. He quitted things down when the Flyers were swarming in the zone. He may have allowed three goals, but he was one of the stars for the Devils in their victory.

Ersson made 34 saves, giving up five goals. His rebound control never seemed to be on point throughout the net. And his puck tracking wasn't up to his usual standard. It wasn't the only factor in the Flyers' loss. But Ersson's poor rebound control led to a few of the Devils' goals. A shot by Brendan Smith popped off the pads of Ersson and right to Tyler Toffoli for New Jersey's second goal. Part of that falls on Morgan Frost, who lost Toffoli behind him.

An Ondrej Palat shot from the point took a bounce and allowed Brendan Smith to go five-hole on Ersson for a rare goal. Nate Bastian was able to wire one over the glove of Ersson for just his fourth goal of the season. It was a nice shot from Bastian, so credit goes to the goal-scorer on that one. If the Flyers wanted to see Ersson stop something, it was likely the original shot from Palat or the rebound from Smith.

Ersson didn't shy away from blaming himself. Again, he wasn't the sole reason for this loss, but you would have liked to see a better effort. He is known to bounce back from tough situations, so don't expect him to let this one linger.