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GAME STORY: Devils 5, Flyers 0

A strong special teams performance and two goals from Miles Wood led the team over their rivals.

by Catherine Bogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

PHILADELPHIA, PA - A strong special teams performance and a two-goal night from Miles Wood led the Devils to a 5-0 over their rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Damon Severson's power play goal in the second, and Pavel Zacha's third period shorthanded goal highlighted the team's special teams effort.

"We definitely took a step as a team," said Wood. "Tonight I felt like we did a great job. We got the first goal and we kept on trying to score and our foot was on the gas for all three periods there."

"It was a complete team effort. Guys are taking pride now in our defensive game," said Devils Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine. "Short-term here lately we like to have some consistency and tonight was a good step in the right direction."

Wood's two goals in the third period sealed the win for the road team. The forward has scored three goals in the past two games. When asked about what was working for him converting on breakaways as of late, Wood said that's the way the game goes.

"It's just the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. The only thing I can control are my chances," said Wood. "Just keep trying to get those chances and hopefully they go in."

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New Jersey returns home for a three-game homestand. First up, the Devils host the LA Kings on Saturday. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET. Tickets Still Available

The Devils got on the board first when Blake Coleman scored his 20th goal of the season just 13 seconds after puck drop. Travis Zajac from behind the net, dished a pass to Coleman who went backhand on Philadelphia's goaltender to make it 1-0.

"That can take the wind of sails obviously scoring on the first shot, but more importantly it speaks to the way we were getting off quick starts in the periods," said Coleman. "We took advantage of the opportunities we had."

New Jersey's penalty kill came up strong in the final three minutes of the first period. In addition to keeping the Philadelphia power play slient, there were several chances for the Devils to score shorthanded. Mackenzie Blackwood stood tall against the Flyers throughout the first 20.

The Devils special teams showed strength at the start of the second when New Jersey went on the power play. Damon Severson increased the score to 2-0 when walked one in 20 seconds after the start of the man-advantage.

During the Flyers power play late in the second period, the Devils penalty kill came through once again, keeping the home team from scoring. There were several close chances for Philadelphia, including two shots that rung off the post.

Just under six minutes left in the second frame, the Devils went back on the power play. Although there was momentum and several shots at the start of the man advantage, the team was unable to convert.

Despite many good chances by the Flyers, the Devils held their 2-0 lead going into the third period. Blackwood stopped 26 shots in the first 40 minutes of play to keep the home team from scoring.

Although the Devils went on the penalty kill in the first minute of the period, that didn't phase New Jersey as Pavel Zacha scored shorthanded to make it 3-0.

"If you can get a goal on the penalty kill, that's gravy, right?" Said Blackwood. "We're just trying to kill it off, not really score, so that's huge for us."

Minutes later, Miles Wood, on a breakaway, showed his speed and scored to make it 4-0 Devils.

That wouldn't be all from Wood tonight, as he scored his second goal of the night in the final ten minutes of play. Wood's speed allowed him to slip past two players from the Flyers, get a quick shot off, and score, going five-hole against Philadelphia's goaltender. Wood has scored three goals in the last two games.

Tonight's win for the Devils not only puts them back in the win column, but snabs a four-game overtime streak for the team.

"I thought our guys defended well, defended hard," said Nasreddine. "Obviously we capitalized on our chances. Something we've talk about the past couple days after the Montreal game and going into the third period."

Mackenzie Blackwood finished the night saving each of the 46 shots he faced.

"Outstanding, that's the first word that comes to my mind," said Wood on Blackwood's performance. "He's really stepping up here in the second half and I'm happy for him that he got the shutout."

"He made it look easy," said Coleman on Blackwood. "It's great for him, good for his confidence, good for the team's confidence. Anytime you get a performance like that you better win the game."

"Definitely one of those games tonight that goes your way," said Mackenzie Blackwood. "I think the team did a great job limiting rebounds and boxing out, and taking care of the secondary stuff. That one felt really good."

 

 

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