Well, that was a devil of a series. The Philadelphia Flyers lost 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils in the finale of the four-game series on Saturday night.
After Claude Giroux saved the day on Sunday, the Flyers lost three straight in regulation against the Devils in rather uninspiring fashion. Saturday’s game was no different.
The Flyers fell behind early on a soft goal and broke down defensively early in the second period as the Devils took a 2-0 lead. They put some pressure on and had chances, but couldn’t beat MacKenzie Blackwood. When it looked like the Flyers might have a chance to get back into things with a third-period power play, Nico Hischier had the dagger with a shorthanded goal.
Joel Farabee scored his 16th goal of the season to spoil Blackwood’s shutout bid late in the game. He tied James van Riemsdyk for the Flyers’ lead in goals as well. That was the lone bright spot for the Flyers in the game, however.
The Flyers, once again, got out to a very slow start against the Devils. New Jersey controlled play early on and scored another weak goal against the Flyers.
After Alex Lyon‘s gaffes on Thursday night, this one was hard to swallow.
The Flyers bounced back well, though.
Wade Allison had the Flyers’ best chance in the early going as he camped out in front, but he couldn’t beat MacKenzie Blackwood.
It looked like the Flyers tied the game on a Devils own goal, but the puck never crossed the line.
That sequence summed up the Flyers’ season pretty well. They weren’t discouraged, however.
The Flyers finished out the second half of the period with a few strong chances. Wade Allison had another shot on goal, this time off the rush.
Ivan Provorov got a shot on goal in the final minute that Couturier jammed at in the crease, but he was denied.
The Flyers played fairly well in the first period, but a really weak goal had them down 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. They outchanced the Devils 7-3 in the first period and had a 69.04% xGF (0.87 – 0.39)
The Devils nearly had a 2-on-0 rush, but they couldn’t corral the puck. It didn’t really matter, though, as the Devils scored just seconds later.
Travis Sanheim and Shayne Gostisbehere let two Devils forwards behind them then both got caught on the right side of the ice. Voracek didn’t pick up Janne Kuokkanen, who scored on a on-timer from the circle.
It was a really poor sequence for the Flyers. They allowed a long stretch pass and then didn’t cover the open man in a dangerous area. Unfortunately, that has happened a lot this season.
The Flyers got the game’s first power play and actually had a few chances.
Gostisbehere was quarterbacking the top unit in his return from injury and rang a shot off the post.
The second unit had a chance as well, but Joel Farabee was denied. Jesper Bratt then nearly put the Devils up 3-0 out of the box, but he also hit the post. However, the Devils drew a holding penalty on Farabee and went on their first power play of the game.
The Flyers’ penalty kill came up big with Brian Elliott making a few key saves late in the two-minute minor.
The Flyers are generating more chances (18-8, 9-2 high-danger) than the Devils at 5-on-5 through two periods and have 2.15 expected goals, but it doesn't really matter since they've yet to beat Blackwood. It also doesn't feel like the Flyers are playing as well as the stats show. pic.twitter.com/3GHhbkzguZ
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 2, 2021
The Flyers couldn’t solve Blackwood through two periods of play. They trailed 2-0 and led in shots 22-14.
The Flyers started the third period strong with a few good shifts in the offensive zone.
Aube-Kubel, who has disappointed this season and taken a lot of unnecessary penalties, flipped the script and drew a penalty in front of the net early in the frame.
With the Flyers down 2-0 and pushing early in the third, that gave them a power play with a chance to get on the board. However, it was the Devils who scored a shorthanded goal.
Nico Hischier stole the puck from Couturier, poked it past Voracek, and beat Elliott on a two-on-one rush.
That put the Devils up 3-0 and ended any hopes of a third-period comeback.
A few minutes later, Couturier took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone for the Devils’ second power play of the game.
Once again, the Flyers killed it off, but it didn’t give them much momentum.
Hischier all but put the game away, and the Devils made it a 4-0 game off a bad turnover in the defensive zone.
It looked like the Flyers would be shut out for the third time this season, then Joel Farabee struck. He sniped a goal in the final minutes to make it a 4-1 game.
Farabee has been one of the few bright spots for the Flyers this season and should be a big part of their future.
The Flyers lost 4-1 to the Devils in the final game of this four-game series.
This was another frustrating and disappointing loss against the Devils. The Flyers get back in action on Monday for a back-to-back set against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Photo: Heather Barry Images