PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers learned a very basic lesson about playoff hockey in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the New Jersey Devils.
If you don't skate, you won't win.
"These games are all about skating and speed nowadays," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "If you don't have it you're going to be in trouble and we were in trouble today."
FLYERS VS. DEVILS
Devils beat Flyers 4-1 to even seriesBy Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
The Devils -- playing without Ilya Kovalchuk -- scored four times in the third period to beat the Flyers 4-1 and even the series at one game apiece before it shifts to New Jersey for Games 3 & 4.
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The Flyers came out strong, getting nine shot on net and Matt Read's goal 2:53 into the game to take a 1-0 lead.
However, that was the extent of their offense. The team that averaged a League-high 4.86 goals per game entering Tuesday managed just 11 more shots over the final 40 minutes of a 4-1 series-tying loss.
"It's tough to explain," forward Jaromir Jagr said. "They were just quicker and better than us. They showed it in the shots. I don't think we had a shot until the last two minutes in the [second] period, after dominating the [first] period and since then we just didn't have any shots."
The second period was among the worst the Flyers played all season. Despite starting the period with a power play, they didn't manage a shot on goal until there was 1:27 left in the period -- and that only came during a delayed penalty, when the Flyers had an extra skater. They finished the period with just two shots.
"Well, they were in our zone, I would say probably 18 minutes out of 20 in the second period," Jagr said. "It's tough to shoot on the net if you're in your own zone the whole time. They were quicker to the loose pucks and they were winning all the battles on the boards, that's why they were staying in our zone the whole time. It's tough to score from your own zone."
Despite their struggles in the second, the Flyers still led 1-0 thanks to an outstanding game from Ilya Bryzgalov.
"After the second period we had we thought we'd get back on track in the third period like we've done most of the postseason," forward Danny Briere said. "But tonight didn't work in our favor. We were missing a little something in our step, definitely."
They had nine shots on goal in the third, but even with two power plays, they couldn't generate any high-quality scoring chances.
"I think they showed more desperation than we did all night," Briere said. "It shows in the box score. The last two periods, even though we were up 1-0, we didn't deserve it. If it wasn't for [Bryzgalov], we didn't deserve to be up after two periods. Even then at the beginning of the third period, we sat back way too much and their desperation got rewarded for it."
The Flyers will spend Wednesday analyzing what happened and trying to learn from it.
"[Wednesday] is one of those days you watch tape, you learn from it, and make sure everyone is ready to go Thursday," Timonen said.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK