Again, New Jersey is ROBBED by the referee's. The Devils were called for 6 penalties giving up 2 power-play goals, both by Scott Hartnell, the first time any team has scorred two goals on the man-advantage in Prudential Center. Along with the seven calls, there was a fighting major for Eric Boulton and Jody Shelley five minutes into the first, and a 10 minute game misconduct call on David Clarkson in the closing minutes of the second. This game was predominantly an out-numbered game for the Devils as it seemed as though it was a game against TWO teams; the Flyers of Philadelphia, and the referee's. Throught the game, numerous calls were blatently missed and a handful of calls were made against New Jersey that ultimatly left many of the Devils scratching their heads, as well as many fans who throughout the course of the game, expressed their thoughts through tweets (follow us here).
A good start, again... The Devils out shot Philadelphia 9-4 and kept them off the board, as did the Flyers and "Mr. Universe" Ilya Bryzgalov. In regards to the OTHER Ilya on the ice, Ilya Kovalchuk, he was basically obsolete only getting one shot on net in the first 20 minutes of play. Martin Brodeur was in between the pipes for his 5th start in the last 6 games for the Devils getting 16 of 19 shots faced, allowing three total goals in 59:27 minutes of play with a game save percentage of .842% for the afternoon. The remainder of the period was relativly un-eventful with the exception of Boulton's fight against Flyers winger Jody Shelley.
The second period by far the most exciting period of play out of the three which displayed a total of 3 goals (2-Philadelphia, 1-New Jersey), 24 total penalty minutes (10 by David Clarkson), and one BIG crushing hit on Max Talbot by the rookie Adam Henrique. Philadelphia forward Matt Read broke the scoring silence 9:30 minutes into the second period for his 15th goal of the year, set up by Wayne Simmonds. The second period saw its first penaltyroughly 1 minute after the goal when Flyer Brayden Coburn got sent to the box for a two minute minor after being called for the Hi Stick on Eric Boulton. The Devils managed to get a few shots on net, but couldnt get any past with the man advantage which allowed Philadelphia to maintain a one goal lead. No sooner does one penalty end, another is assesed. This time, its rookie Adam Larsson taking two for interference on Flyers leading scorer Claude Giroux who has 52pts in 42 games. Giroux finished up the day with 2 assists. With Larsson in the box, Philadelphia scored 13:04 minutes in the second period on the powerplay. The goal was initially awarded to Kimmo Timonen, but after further review, the goal was credited to Scott Hartnell. The powerplay goal was Hartnell's 21st of the 82 game campaign. Assists were by Timonen and Giroux(1).
Newest New Jersey Devil, Alexi Ponikarovsky, ranked first in the league with 50 games played, was traded late last night in a deal which sent Devils minor league defenseman Joseph Sova and a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, scored in his first career game as a New Jersey Devil after being set up nicely by Matt Taormina, and David Clarkson. That goal would, once again, for the second game in a row, would be the ONLY mark the Devils would get up on the scoreboard. Rookie Adam Henrique had the highlight of the period as he leveled Philadelphia forward Maxim Talbot into the Devils net, sending him toppling down hard onto the ice, possibly igniting a small fire to hopefully put some drive back into this Devils rather sluggish offense which, despite recording 31 shots through 60minutes of play, looked messy, and kind of all over the place as the game progressed.
Again, for the second game in a row, the Devils coud not manage to get ANYTHING going one either the offensive, or defensive side of play, allowing 7 shots on net, 2 of them being goals, one of them an empty netter, the other, a powerplay goal. YES, another powerplay goal, the second time this season the Devils league-leading penalty killing unit has allowed 2 powerplay goals in a game, the first at home this season. Scott Hartnell scored his second powerplay goal of the game, his 22nd of the season, 8 minutes into the third period, virtually putting New Jersey out of reach. Philadelphia went on the powerplay after Ilya Kovalchuk was called for the Delay of Game penalty when he dumped the puck up & over the side boards and into the stands from the Devils' defensive zone. Hartnell's second was assisted by Claude Giroux(2) and Wayne Simmonds(2). Other than a the empty net goal scored for Wayne Simmonds at the 17:38 mark of the third, the period was bland. The Devils dropped their second straight game, allowing 8 goals and scoring 2 in their last two.
Philadelphia was outshot 20-31 scoring 3 times on Brodeur and adding insult to injury with a late game empty net goal. The Devils recorded 47 penalty minutes, allowing Philly to score 2 times on 5 powerplay opportunities while managing to go 0-6 when given the man advantage. In this matchup of two physical Atlantic Division rivals, the two teams totaled 43 hits, 76 total minutes of penalties, 1 fight, and one very well defensive performance by the Flyers as the upstaged New Jersey 4-1. The next game will be Tuesday evening against Buffalo at home in the Prudential Center at 7p.m. Buffalo enters tonights game against St. Louis tied for 11th in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Canadiens at 43pts and has a 2-6-2 record in their last 10 while looking to recover tonight from a 4 game loosing streak.