The Eagles set the stage and the Flyers followed up with a worthy encore for a near-perfect Philadelphia sports Saturday.
Sean Couturier scored two goals and added an assist as the Flyers beat the Devils, 5-3, on Saturday night for their fourth-straight win. Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Ivan Provorov all added two assists as the Flyers piggybacked on the good vibes of the Eagles’ 15-10 win over the Falcons in the NFC Divisional Round.
Brian Elliot was solid between the pipes, turning aside 26 of 29 Devils shots to earn the win. The Flyers were able to get two points despite taking seven minor penalties and surrendering a pair of power play goals to the NHL’s seventh-best power play.
Philadelphia was able to convert on both of their chances on the man-advantage, with Sean Couturier’s second period power play goal proving to be the game-winner.
Despite a slow start for both teams, the Flyers were able to ramp up the energy that we saw in the three wins prior to the bye week and turn in a pretty complete effort on the road to earn the win.
Both teams looked like they were feeling the effects of the five day break with just two shots on goal combined through the first five minutes of play.
But it was the Devils who would strike first as Nico Hischier would find Jesper Bratt alone in front to make it 1-0 at the 5:43 mark of the first period. Taylor Hall picked up the other assist on the goal.
Back-to-back Devils power plays after Bratt’s goal would prove to be a momentum gainer as the Flyers were able to kill both penalties after surrendering the first goal.
Sean Couturier would get it back for the Flyers with 5:25 left in the period, ramming home a rebound off an Andrew MacDonald point shot to tie things up at 1-1. Couturier beat Hischier to the rebound with a great individual effort for his team leading 24th goal of the season. For some reason he’s not an All-Star.
Sean Scoreturier is a big mean, goal scoring machine! pic.twitter.com/I3aP7w8UPQ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2018
Despite a few chances for the Flyers to start the second period, Nolan Patrick would send the Devils to their fourth power play of the game just 1:37 into the frame and pay for it.
Kyle Palmieri blasted a one-timer past Brian Elliott to give the Devils back the lead at 2-1 less than 10 seconds into the power play. Given the Flyers’ penalty kill struggles this season, giving the Devils chance after chance on the man-advantage was bound to doom come back to bit them and it did with Palmieri’s goal.
Patrick would take another minor after the Palmieri goal, but the penalty kill would bail out the rookie this time. A strong shift from Jake Voracek then helped earn the Flyers their first power play of the night after watching the Devils get the first four of the night.
It turned out to be a huge call, too, as the Flyers would tied things up at 2-2 thanks to a power play goal from Wayne Simmonds. His 15th of the season came with 8:05 left in the second and assisted by Voracek and Giroux. The point would push Giroux past Mark Recchi for eighth on the Flyers’ all-time scoring list.
Hey now! You're an all-star! pic.twitter.com/ocefaE1h5t— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2018
After a pair of early penalties, and one that ended with a Devils goal, Patrick burst in on a two-on-one with 3:51 left in the period but was robbed with a slick save from Corey Schneider. Despite the two penalties early, Patrick responded well in his shifts afterwards culminating with a great scoring chance, showing the confidence to shoot the puck on the odd-man rush.
Armed with another man-advantage, the Flyers would connect with a surgical passing play ended up with Sean Couturier’s second of the night to make it 3-2 with 1:44 left in the period. His 25th of the season was courtesy of a nice, no-look pass from Giroux to allow room for him to blast a one-timer past Schneider’s blocker.
That pass— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 14, 2018
3-2 Flyers pic.twitter.com/ReeKbZ8XIC
It was the Flyers’ second power play goal of the game, and second in as many tries as they picked on the NHL’s eight-best penalty kill headed into the game.
Travis Konecny would extend the Flyers lead by connecting on a breakaway and jamming home the rebound to push the lead to 4-2 at the 4:28 mark of the third period. The second year forward took a stretch pass from Ivan Provorov, but was denied by Corey Schneider on the initial shot and was able to put home the second chance for his sixth goal of the season.
With a two-goal lead and more than 15 minutes left on the clock, the Flyers would lean on the man between the pipes down the stretch to preserve two points. Brian Elliott was strong early as he helped the Flyers survive a slew of early penalties and was just a good down the stretch as well.
Michael Raffl would add some extra insurance with 7:56 left in the third by finishing off a nice rush up ice with his eighth of the season to push the lead to 5-2. The goal gave Raffl eight in his last 22 games after a very slow start that included 21-straight scoreless games to begin the year.
With 5:43 left Elliott came up with a massive pad save on Brian Gibbons to keep the lead at a comfortable three goals. The veteran was his steady self in the third with the Devils pressing the action, stopping 10 of 11 shots in the frame as the Flyers sealed off their fourth-straight win.
Drew Stafford would make it 5-3 with 45 seconds left as the Devils converted on another power play, their second of the game in seven chances. But it was too little, too late for the Devils in this one as the Flyers would take it by that same 5-3 final.