The Flyers know that despite being one of the Conference’s top teams, any team can win on any given night. Bad bounces, a hot goalie, a determined team – the list goes on.
The embarrassingly bad New Jersey Devils have already proven that once this season, with a 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers. Last night’s 4-2 Flyers win had many of the same signs.
Early on, Devils’ goaltender Johan Hedberg held strong as the Flyers came with a series of odd-man rushes. Chance after chance, but the Flyers couldn’t break through.
It was the Devils that got on the board first courtesy of a well-timed deflection by Dainius Zubrus, scoring on their first chance of the night.
Scott Hartnell tied it at 1 in the second period after a lucky bounce sent a puck out front as Hedberg went behind the net to play it.
Hartnell and Danny Briere eventually combined for a pair of goals each, with linemate Ville Leino notching three assists, to give the Flyers the 4-2 edge.
The Flyers let up another go-ahead goal for the Devils, though, as Andy Greene sprung David Clarkson on a breakaway – scoring a goal on one of only two Devils’ shots during the second period.
That was the last the Devils would see of the back of the net.
The orange and black continued to control the flow of play, and it finally turned into results on the scoreboard – two third period goals while at the same time shutting down the Devils’ scorers.
The Flyers’ often-overpowering offense wasn’t quite as dominant in this game. With only 20 shots on goal, the Devils kept them from getting the flurries of opportunities that they’re used to. Fortunately, with the scoring talent on this roster, it was enough – they made their shots count.
Another win against a team that the Flyers should be beating, no news here. But these are the games that they can’t afford to throw away, so this home-and-home series against the Devils counts just as much as any elite match up – two points are two points, the standings don’t care whether it’s against the Devils or the Penguins.