NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 11: Maxime Talbot #27 of the Philadelphia Flyers is checked into the bench by Ryan Carter #20 of the New Jersey Devils in the first period of an NHL hockey game at Prudential Center on March 11, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
It was just that kind of game. We can paint it any which way we want -- maybe the Flyers should have started Ilya Bryzgalov, perhaps they were just tired after playing their fifth game in eight days. Sometimes it's just not your night, and the Flyers win streak was snapped at five tonight in a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils stifled the Flyers all night long. Part of it was Martin Brodeur, but the New Jersey defense did a very good job of keeping the Flyers' chances to the outside and limiting second-chance opportunities in front of the net. Meanwhile, at the other end of the ice, the Devils outchanced the Flyers, possessed the puck more than the Flyers and seemed to win just about every puck battle.
The loss makes the fight for playoff positioning even more intriguing. Pittsburgh's win over Boston pushed them four points up on the Flyers for the No. 4 seed in the East (and suddenly they're just four points behind the Rangers, too), while the loss tonight puts the orange and black in a points-tie for the No. 5 seed in the East. The Flyers hold that tiebreaker at present, but the race is super close and Tuesday night's matchup against the Devils is pretty damn important.