NEWARK, N.J. -- After earning headlines for the wrong reasons one night earlier, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery made amends in a big way with 14 saves behind a stellar defensive effort in a 1-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday.
Not only did the Flyers earn their first shutout of the season in a game they desperately needed, but they had no turnovers and the 14 shots allowed were their fewest on the road since December 2009 against the Montreal Canadiens.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most-recent time Philadelphia finished a game without a turnover occurred Dec. 12, 2009, also at New Jersey.
"It was important to have the bounce-back effort after [Friday, a 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals]," Emery said. "It really was a complete team game from start to finish. The most encouraging thing was the third period. We really took it to them and they didn't get anything, so we needed that."
Flyers coach Craig Berube opted to start Emery, who totaled 29 minutes in penalties Friday after leaving his crease to engage in a fight with Capitals goalie Bradon Holtby. Emery entered in relief of starter Steve Mason in the second period and exited following his fight at 5:31 of the third after yielding four goals on 15 shots.
"There's a reason that stuff happens [Friday]; these players care," Berube said. "They are mad and frustrated, and I know what they're feeling because I've been there. I knew they'd be ready."
The Flyers accrued 99 penalty minutes Friday, but Berube and his coaching staff stuck to the plan for the goalies that was determined before the game against the Capitals. It proved to be prophetic; the Flyers suffocated the Devils in the third period, yielding three shots. Each team finished 0-for-5 on the power play.
"This has been a tough building for us to play [in], and I thought we had the patience to beat them in a game," Berube said. "That's what it basically boils down to. You can't give the puck away or turn it over at critical times, and there's a fine line to the game when you make plays and get it in deep. We were better tonight."
The shutout for Emery, making his first start in seven games, was the 15th of his career and second against the Devils. It was his first victory this season in four games. Philadelphia last won in New Jersey on Jan. 21, 2012.
"I base myself on whether I win or not and I hadn't won yet this year, so it's been disappointing," Emery said. "To get a win is all that matters."
Berube said he never doubted Emery's ability to come up big when the Flyers needed him.
"I always knew that about Ray; he's been a winner and a battler his whole life and I knew he'd have a good game," Berube said. "I knew the guys would be ready to go. I knew they were very frustrated and upset at the game against Washington, and knew the focus was there. We played a strong game."
Brayden Schenn's tip-in late in the first period was all Emery and the Flyers (4-9-0) needed to secure their first win in three games. The Devils (3-6-4), who visit the Minnesota Wild and former teammate Zach Parise on Sunday, lost for the first time in three games.
"You never want to get shelled in your own building like we did and, on top of that, we were beaten and there wasn't even any compete," Schenn said of the game Friday. "A lot of things went wrong [Friday] but we put that behind us and wiped the slate clean. Now we can build off this win."
Emery's best stop might have been in the third period when he denied a rebound attempt by Michael Ryder with the Devils on the power play. Adam Henrique was alone in the slot but his backhand went wide of the right post with less than eight minutes left before Ryder hit the far post on a shot from the left circle a few minutes later.
Dainius Zubrus, who was playing his 1,100th NHL game, was whistled for hooking with 31.3 seconds to go to all but end any chance the home team had at a comeback.
Brodeur, who was in net for the previous two victories, made 20 saves, including some big stops in the third to keep his team within striking distance, but the Devils could not generate a sustained attack.
"I think because of the way these guys played [Friday], I think they really played a careful game," Brodeur said. "They didn't give us anything. We had a couple chances to score, but we could probably count on one hand those that were decent. They scored that goal shooting on net with a tip-in. These are tight games. They're tough to play. You've got to give them credit, they didn't give up much room out there."
Philadelphia shook off the shock of the loss to Washington when they scored at 14:29 of the first period. Schenn redirected a shot from the slot past Brodeur. Andrej Meszaros, making his second start in eight games, lined a rope from the top of right circle that Schenn deflected inside the long-side post for his third of the season.
"[Wayne] Simmonds shot it and it bounced back to Meszaros and I happened to stop in front of the net," Schenn said. "I saw it come off his stick and tried to get a tip, and I guess good things happen when you go to the net."
Each team was without key starters. The Devils scratched forwards Travis Zajac (ankle) and Patrik Elias (upper body soreness), and the Flyers were minus Steve Downie (concussion) and Vincent Lecavalier (facial contusion).
The Devils had Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby in the lineup; the Flyers had American Hockey League call-up Tye McGinn and feisty Jay Rosehill as replacements. Berube also listed defensemen Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson as healthy scratches in favor of Hal Gill and Meszaros.
"Everyone in the organization felt that, in their hearts, we were playing for pride," Gill said. "It hurts when you get beat up like that [against Washington]. Luckily, we had a game [Saturday] that we could come back and redeem ourselves and play the way we're capable."
|Matt Read Slashing against Eric Gelinas|
|Eric Gelinas Roughing against Scott Hartnell|
|Dainius Zubrus Slashing against Mark Streit|
|Matt Read Tripping against Ryan Carter|
|Matt Read Charging against Anton Volchenkov|
|Anton Volchenkov Holding against Michael Raffl|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking against Claude Giroux|
|Hal Gill Holding against Jaromir Jagr|
|Wayne Simmonds Hi-sticking against Adam Henrique|
|Dainius Zubrus Hooking against Scott Hartnell|