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Devils 5, Flyers 3: Mathematical elimination comes for us all

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Please... no more games against the Devils...

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

New Jersey Devils 5 - Philadelphia Flyers 3

[full stats]

Scoring

1st: 8:10, Yegor Sharangovich (Will Butcher, Damon Severson) PP. 15:28, Yegor Sharangovich (Damon Severson, Jan Kuokkanen) PP.

2nd: 7:14, Scott Laughton (unassisted) SH. 9:00, Jesper Bodqvist (Nick Merkley, Mikhail Maltsev). 12:17, Sean Couturier (Justin Braun, Jake Voracek).

3rd: 13:15, Pavel Zacha (Will Butcher). 15:53, Jesper Bratt (Pavel Zacha, Ryan Murray). 18:10, Travis Konecny (Jake Voracek).

Recap

It was game three of four against the Devils this week tonight, and it sure was an interesting one! The story of the first period was, well, it was penalties and that’s about it. Wade Allison took a hooking penalty just before the seven minute mark, and after a couple of big blocks and one big save for Alex Lyon, things broke down and a shot by Yegor Sharangovich squeaked through Lyon, giving the Devils the lead. Then Scott Laughton tossed the puck over the glass and took a penalty for that, and the spiral was staved off for a bit, as the Flyers killed that one, but only by the skin of their teeth. It wasn’t much of a surprise that, on their third power play attempt of the period (after Phil Myers slashes Jack Hughes), the Devils struck again. This time it was a chance on the rush, with the Devils cutting right through the Flyers’ penalty killers, and then Sharangovich getting wide open in the slot for his second of the night.

In other news, I think the regular Devils and the Binghamton Devils (presently playing in Newark, in the Devils’ practice rink) have the same in-game playlist, based on the fact that they’ve both played one of my favorite bands in games this week and I don’t think I’ve ever heard them played at a game before. And I appreciate that!

(Listen folks, we have to take our levity wherever we can find it this year).

Anyway, we still had two more periods of hockey to watch! And this period had everything:

  • The Flyers getting their legs under them a bit more
  • Travis Konecny mixing it up with Connor Carrick
  • Joel Farabee fighting Connor Carrick
  • The Flyers taking another penalty
  • Scott Laughton scoring a shorthanded goal (their first of the year!)
  • The Devils scoring a mere minute and 44 seconds later

The rest of the period was somehow less chaotic—the last bit of flash came with a goal from Sean Couturier just past the 12 minute mark, and then the Flyers fizzling out a bit, and then getting a chance on the power play with 1:43 left in the period, and then doing, well, not a whole lot with it.

The third period saw the Flyers come out with a good bit more jump, and were able to put together some nice stretches where they were comfortably controlling play, but they just couldn’t get anything out of all of that offensive zone time they were putting together. It looked like they were pushing towards something, though... what’s that? The Devils countered and Pavel Zacha scored on them to double their lead? Cool cool cool.

And do we really want to talk about how this one ended*? With just about four and a half minutes left in regulation, the Flyers pulled Lyon and the Devils promptly picked up the empty netter, care of Jesper Bratt, and sealed the game.

*Just kidding, that wasn’t the actual end. The Flyers got a power play chance with just over two minutes left, and after a shorthanded shot by Sharangovich hit the post, the Flyers went right back down and Konecny scored to pull them back within two. They tried the goalie pull again, but they did not score, nor did they get scored on.

Final thoughts

We’re not really sure what we were expecting from this one, but somehow everything about this game felt right. Between the flat start, the hole the Flyers fell into, and then the late game push that had them looking like a whole new, suddenly good team, this all felt pretty remarkably familiar. It’s the same old story time and again, folks.

With this loss and the Bruins’ win, though, the Flyers were officially mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. We knew this was coming, the chances were slim and the team hasn’t been playing well enough to merit sweeping in for that fourth spot. But now it’s final and we can stop playing that pretending game. We’ve got six more games left this season, and here’s hoping that this doesn’t turn into an even bigger slog-fest.

But the big takeaway here? We’re so sick of seeing the Devils, man.

Player of the game

Guess what, it’s you.

(Just kidding. Well, it can be you too. But we’ll give it to Scott Laughton. Because we appreciate a good shorthanded goal).