Flyers can’t fend off elimination with 5-3 loss to Devils in Newark
The Philadelphia Flyers lost on Thursday night and are now eliminated from playoff contention.
Gilbert: Flyers’ 2021 season has all-too-familiar inconsistent feeling
This has been a disappointing season and the Flyers aren’t doing anything to change it. They had several uninspiring efforts in April and this one was no different.
If the Flyers’ effort at the start of Tuesday night’s game was unacceptable, then I don’t know what Thursday night’s was. The Flyers managed just three shots on goal in the opening period while allowing two power-play goals to the Devils.
There were very few moments that had any sort of excitement for the Flyers in the first period. No near misses, no dangerous odd-man rushes, nothing.
The Devils got three power-play opportunities in the first period. Wade Allison took the first penalty of the game as he was called for hooking.
After making a pretty nice glove save, Alex Lyon allowed a goal that he should stop 999 times out of 1000.
It was an unscreened shot that somehow snuck through Lyon. That was the first of two power-play goals by Yegor Sharangovich in the period.
Scott Laughton took a delay of game penalty a few minutes later, but the Flyers were able to kill that one off.
James van Riemsdyk had an opportunity, but his shot went well wide.
The Flyers then went back on the penalty kill after Jack Hughes sped by Philippe Myers, who took a slashing penalty.
This time, it was a complete defensive breakdown and the Devils sliced through the Flyers penalty kill for the goal.
That put the Devils up 2-0 and the Flyers only had two shots on goal at that point. They added another before the end of the period but trailed 9-3 in shots and 2-0 where it counts after one period of play.
It would’ve been hard for the Flyers’ second period to be worse than their first, but they did legitimately play better in the middle frame.
Things got a bit feisty early in the period with Travis Konecny and Connor Carrick going at it.
Then, a few minutes later, Joel Farabee said “enough is enough” and went right after Carrick.
Those were matching fighting majors, but Ivan Provorov took a tripping penalty just 23 seconds later for the Devils’ fourth power play of the game.
Once again, a goal was scored on the Devils’ power play, but this time it was by the Flyers.
Scott Laughton picked up the loose puck and outwaited MacKenzie Blackwood on the breakaway.
Laughton ended a 25-game goal drought and scored the Flyers’ first shorthanded goal of the season. That got the Flyers on the board and it should’ve given them some life.
The Flyers killed off the penalty, but the Devils still got the next goal. A poor sequence by the Flyres in the defensive zone led to another odd-man rush and goal for the Devils.
Jesper Boqvist gave the Devils a two-goal lead again less than two minutes after Laughton’s goal.
But the Flyers wouldn’t go down quietly to finish the period. Sean Couturier scored on an unconventional give-and-go play with Justin Braun, who sent a perfect pass to the tape of Couturier’s stick in front.
Couturier extended his point streak to five games with the goal and got the Flyers back within one goal.
Egor Zamula has been solid in his two NHL games. He made nice defensive plays on the same shift to force the Devils to the outside.
The Devils took their first minor penalty of the game in the final minutes, but the Flyers couldn’t tie it up before intermission. There were 17 seconds of power-play time that carried over into the third period.
The Flyers outshot the Devils 11-5 in the period and outscored them 2-1, but trailed 3-2 after a poor first period.
The third period was a mix of the first and the second. The Flyers were able to generate some pressure, but it seemed like most of their shots were coming from the outside.
They had an odd-man rush midway through the period, but Travis Konecny telegraphed a pass to Scott Laughton that was picked off.
After some more offensive-zone pressure by the Flyers, the Devils came down the ice to make it a 4-2 game.
Pavel Zacha got past a pinching Justin Braun and beat Alex Lyon with a short-side shot to give the Devils another two-goal lead.
New Jersey scored an empty-net goal to go up 5-2 and put the final nail in the Flyers’ coffin.
Travis Konecny got one back on a power-play goal in the final minutes to make it a 5-3 game.
The Flyers needed a win (and some help) to keep their playoff hopes alive. They are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.