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Devils 5, Flyers 4: Late goal, shootout ends four-game winning streak

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Taylor Hall’s late goal, Drew Stafford’s shootout marker end Flyers’ four-game winning streak.

Kate Frese / SBNation
Kate Frese / SBNation

The Flyers picked up a point in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but left another point on the table after a blown third-period lead in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Devils on Tuesday night.

Taylor Hall tied the game at 4-4 with just 1:21 left in regulation, and despite a hard push in overtime, the Flyers were once again done in by the Devils in the skills competition. New Jersey is 8-1 all-time against the Flyers in the shootout.

Failing to hold a third period lead hasn’t been too much of an issue for the Flyers this season, as they’re now 20-1-4 when leading after two periods, but it was an issue with the Devils skating circles around the Flyers for large parts of this third period.

Despite the setback, which also broke the Flyers’ four-game winning streak, the club still finds itself third in the Metropolitan Division and in playoff position. They’ll get another crack at their other Metropolitan division foes soon with matchups against Columbus on Friday and the Rangers on Sunday.

First period

Travis Konecny gave the Flyers a fast start, beating Keith Kinkaid 1:54 in to make it 1-0. Claude Giroux hit Konecny with a nice stretch pass and the second-year forward ripped a snap shot past the Devils’ netminder for his 14th goal of the season and eighth in his past 12 games.

A too many men on the ice call then went against New Jersey, but the Flyers didn’t register a shot on goal on the power play and squandered a chance at a commanding two-goal lead less than five minutes in.

Taylor Hall nearly tied things up with a redirection in front at the 9:48 mark, but the Flyers and Michal Neuvirth got help from the crossbar to keep the Devils scoreless. They also got a break when the officials lost sight of the puck and halted play to cut off any other chances.

The Devils would head to the power play thanks to a phantom high-sticking call on Wayne Simmonds with 10:11 left in the period, but the Flyers would kill it off with relative ease. Ivan Provorov had a nice shorthanded rush for the best chance, but Kinkaid made the stop.

After shaky start with rebound control, Kinkaid came up with a couple of big stops on the red-hot Sean Couturier, one on a rebound and then another as he stuck with Couturier on a partial breakaway with 3:56 left in the period.

Through one the Flyers had a 13-8 edge in shots on goal and got two good penalty kills though the second of which was truncated. Both teams had chances they’d love to have back, with the Devils watching both Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier just miss on the doorstep while the Flyers saw Couturier just miss out on at least two or three high-quality scoring chances in the first.

Second period

Early on in the second it would again be the speed of Travis Konecny creating a scoring chance 2:48 in. Giroux hit Konecny with a lead pass and Konecny ripped a one-timer into the chest of Kinkaid, who picked up where he left off in the first period.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, it was the Devils that would strike first in the second period. Taylor Hall fired a bad-angle shot that found its way past Neuvirth to tie things up at 1-1 4:06 into the period. Hall took a hard hit on the play from Radko Gudas and headed to the locker room. It was an unassuming shot from Hall and one that Neuvirth needs to stop.

The Flyers would pick up their goaltender and regain their lead quickly, though. Just 43 seconds later, Scott Laughton gave the Flyers lead back at 2-1 with his ninth of the season. Michael Raffl and Andrew MacDonald picked up assists on the goal. Raffl took the puck behind the net a swung a pass out front to Laughton, who got just enough on the shot to beat Kinkaid.

After a hard hit from Travis Konecny on John Moore tempers flared and resulted in matching minors to Shayne Gostisbehere and Miles Wood. What followed was one of the more colorful penalty box exchanges you’ll ever see.

Radko Gudas then extended the Flyers’ lead to 3-1 at the 10:36 mark with his second goal of the season. Gudas let loose a point shot that glanced of a Devils stick and past Kinkaid. Jori Lehtera and Dale Weise picked up the assists on the goal, Gudas’ second goal in as many games.

The Devils would respond with the Flyers scrambling after a penalty kill as John Moore blasted a point shot through a screen and past Neuvirth to make it 3-2 with 6:43 left in the period. The goal was assisted by Jesper Brett and Travis Zajac.

Neuvirth would come under siege a bit after the Moore goal to draw the Devils within one, but was able to recover and make a key save on Pavel Zacha to keep the Flyers in front.

Travis Zajac would help out with a bad cross checking penalty to give the Flyers a power play and a chance to grab momentum back.

Claude Giroux would do just that, letting a wrist shot go from the circle that found the back of the net thanks to traffic in front to put the Flyers up 4-2 with 4:01 left in the frame. Wayne Simmonds was in front but the puck looked to hit a Devil’s stick once again on the way past Kinkaid.

The two-goal lead was again to be short-lived, however.

Just 10 seconds after Giroux’s tally, Nico Hischier finished off a two-on-one along with Jesper Bratt with a perfect one-timer to make it 4-3 with 3:50 left in an eventful second period. Ivan Provorov got caught with a bad turnover after the face off and ended up paying the price as Neuvirth was left with no chance.

In all, it was a wild second period that saw each team light the lamp three times, though the Flyers maintained their one-goal lead despite the craziness.

Third period

The Devils were the team out with a fast start in the third, perhaps buoyed by the return of Taylor Hall to the bench after missing time following a massive hit from Gudas earlier in the game.

Shayne Gostisbehere sent the Flyers to the power play 3:26 into the period, buying a high-sticking call after he was hit on the shoulder by Nick Lappin and sold the call to the officials. The Flyers got good zone time and two good scoring chances but couldn’t get another past Keith Kinkaid.

Following the failed power play the Devils put the pressure on in the Flyers zone, forcing Neuvirth to come up with some desperation saves while flopping all around his crease. The Flyers certainly looked like they were a team feeling the effects of their recent desert road trip.

Konecny, who was all over the ice all night, had a pair of golden chances to extend the Flyers’ lead, but he was denied on a tip in front and then later as he was hooked on a two-on-one with less than four minutes left. Konecny was easily the most dangerous Flyers forward on the ice on Tuesday night.

While he didn’t finish the two-on-one chance, Konecny did draw a penalty to give the Flyers a man-advantage with just 3:50 left in the third protecting a 4-3 lead. The Flyers wouldn’t capitalize on the power play, and it would prove to be a costly miss.

With 1:21 left the Devils would even things up at 4-4 as Taylor Hall scored his second of the game. Hall found a loose puck off a scramble and beat Neuvirth with an important goal for the Devils. Hall’s goal would earn both teams a point and leave another important one up for grabs in the three-on-three overtime session.

Overtime/shootout

Both goalies were stellar in the overtime, with Michal Neuvirth stopping Taylor Hall early and then giving way to the Devils’ netminder. Kinkaid robbed Voracek and then did the same to Ivan Provorov as Flyers get the best of the chances in overtime but couldn’t get one to go.

In the shootout it would be Kinkaid stealing the show, stopping all three Flyers attempts and making Drew Stafford’s lone goal stand up in the shootout to give the Devils the extra point.