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Flyers vs Devils - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals

Flyers pay big price for power-play failures

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEWARK, N.J. -- Danny Briere didn't mince words when he asked about what happened to his team in its 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

Danny Briere
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 12
SOG: 24 | +/-: -4
"I think the power plays cost us the game tonight," he said.

The Flyers had a pair of power plays in overtime, but failed to take advantage of either. In fact, they managed just one shot on their two opportunities.

The Flyers went 1-for-5 with the extra man in the game, and now are just 2-for-16 in three games.

"I was trying to protect it the first two games saying good things were going to happen, it was just a matter of time," Briere said. "But the last two games, the all-round effort on the power play is not good enough. Seems like we just think they're going to let us do whatever we want out there. Their penalty-kill unit is outworking us by a mile. And it's the reason why we lost the last two games. If the power play is hungry, it's a different story. We could be up 3-0 instead of down 2-1."

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Couturier out with lower-body injury

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sean Couturier
Center - PHI
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 4
SOG: 15 | +/-: 2
NEWARK, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers rookie center Sean Couturier will not return to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against New Jersey after sustaining a lower-body injury in the first period.

Couturier played just five shifts in the first period, with the final one ending with 4:34 left in the first period. Comcast SportsNet's Tim Panaccio reported that he left with a cut, but the statement from the Flyers did not specify the nature of the injury.

Couturier, who has three goals and an assist in nine games, was given credit for shutting down Art Ross Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.
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Kovalchuk to play in Game 3 for Devils

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Ilya Kovalchuk will be in the lineup when the New Jersey Devils battle the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal round series at Prudential Center.

Ilya Kovalchuk
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 6
SOG: 25 | +/-: -5
Kovalchuk sat out Game 2 on Tuesday in Philadelphia -- a 4-1 Devils victory -- with a lower-body injury but was back on the ice Thursday morning during the team's practice.

There's no doubt the addition of Kovalchuk should add some spark to the lineup -- and perhaps help carry over the momentum the team built in its victory in Game 2. The Devils outshot (35-20) and outhit (32-24) the Flyers on Tuesday to even the series at one win apiece.

"You're adding our leading scorer … one of the top five scorers in the League, so I think it can't do anything but help," coach Peter DeBoer told the media Thursday morning. "Players know their bodies better than doctors, coaches, anybody else."

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Return to health sees Zajac find scoring touch

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

WARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils coach Pete DeBoer was pretty reflective when asked about the play of his rejuvenated top-line center Travis Zajac during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Zajac was limited to just 15 games by a sore left Achilles tendon during the regular season. He had Achilles surgery in August, missed training camp and didn't play until Dec. 16, only to be sidelined again after playing against Ottawa on Jan. 2.

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Kovalchuk taking part in Devils' morning skate

NHL.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- Injured forward Ilya Kovalchuk is taking part in New Jersey's morning skate Thursday at the Prudential Center.

Kovalchuk, who missed Game 2 and did not practice on Wednesday, took the ice with teammates as they prepare for Game 3 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Flyers on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC). He skated on a line with Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter.

It is unclear if Kovalchuk, who is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, will play Thursday night.

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Flyers' top line finding tougher go in second round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Claude Giroux was the most dominant player in the League in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Through two games of the second round, however, he and linemates Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr have been far less effective.

In the first two games against the New Jersey Devils, the trio has combined for one goal, 10 shots, a minus-5 rating and zero even-strength points.

Those numbers stand in stark contrast to the offense they generated in the first round -- nine goals and 17 points, with 13 of those points coming at even strength.

"We had zero forecheck," Hartnell said after practice Wednesday. "Our line, I don't know if we had a shot five-on-five. Definitely our line has to pick it up. We have to lead the way for everyone else to follow suit. Definitely wasn't up to par [in Game 2].

Hartnell, who had one shot and minus-1 rating in 16:43 of ice time in Game 2, said any critics should point the finger at him.

"I wasn't forechecking, I wasn't hitting," he said. "Seemed like my legs weren't moving. When you don't have a guy going on a line, it's tough to get the other two guys going as well. I have to be better. I have to get emotionally into the game. Felt like it was too easy for them. And that's part of my mold, is to make it hard on them."

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Flyers pay the price for poor effort in Game 2

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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."

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.

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Larsson's return sparks Devils in Game 2

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson doesn't believe he'll get many chances like the one that prompted the monumental comeback against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal round at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

So he made certain it was a memorable one.

Adam Larsson
Defense - NJD
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 2 | +/-: 2
Larsson scored the first playoff goal of his career in his first postseason game at the 3:08 mark of the third period to trigger a four-goal assault by the Devils en route to a 4-1 victory to even the best-of-seven series, 1-1. The Devils will host the Flyers in Game 3 at Prudential Center on Thursday.

"I'm not a goal scorer, so of course it was [better than I could have imagined]," Larsson said. "I was happy for that, and I think you can see that we get everybody going after that. We score two, three, four there, so it was very important I think. We were wearing them down pretty good there."

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Devils respond with dominant performance

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The New Jersey Devils fired everything but the kitchen sink in the direction of Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov during Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal.

At first, it appeared as though the plan would have no effect on the Russian netminder. But, to their credit, the Devils never took their skates off the gas pedal.

Devils coach Pete DeBoer promised his team would generate more shots, more activity and more screens on Bryzgalov following their 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers in Game 1 on Sunday, and they certainly didn't disappoint.

In one of the more dominant performances by the Devils in recent memory, the visitors outshot the Flyers by a 22-11 margin over the final 40 minutes to eventually overcome some pretty exceptional goaltending by Bryzgalov en route to a 4-1 victory at Wells Fargo Center to even this best-of-seven series, 1-1.

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Devils' Kovalchuk to miss Game 2 with injury

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello informed the media on Tuesday morning that Ilya Kovalchuk will be sidelined with a lower-body injury for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

"We left Ilya Kovalchuk back in New Jersey and he will not be in the lineup [Tuesday] and the reason is a lower-body injury and that's all we will say," Lamoriello said. "He is day-to-day. We'll have no other further comments on Ilya's situation."

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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game