The saying goes 'All good things come to an end'. Tonight in Newark that certainly was the case for the Flyers, who fell to their Atlantic Division rival New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1, ending their five-game winning streak.
The Flyers were coming off three games in a span of four nights, this being the back-end of games on consecutive nights, and admitted to not having their best effort throughout the game.
"I don't think that's an excuse," said defenseman Braydon Coburn on the fatigue factor. "We have a fit team here. We have a lot of young guys; we have guys that are fast and powerful skaters so there's no excuses not to have our legs under us."
The Flyers did show a brief moment of play that had guided them to five straight victories by coming out swinging to start the third period, but a quick Devils response put them behind the eight-ball again.
Said Claude Giroux: "We lost a lot of battles one-on-one and that's not the kind of team we are. We're a team that works harder than the other team and a lot of times tonight we got out-worked."
The Flyers will get another crack at the Devils, when they finish off their home-and-home series at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. The game will have even higher stakes as the two teams are now tied with 85 points in the Eastern Conference standings.
New Jersey’s first goal tonight snapped a Flyers opponent scoreless streak of 155:48. Claude Giroux’s goal snapped the Flyers’ own scoreless streak at 106:43.
Giroux tied his career high with his 25th goal of the season. He now has 80 points on the year, making him just the third Flyer to hit 80 points in a season since the lockout (Carter, 84 & Richards, 80 in 2008-09).
Each team blocked just three shots tonight. The Flyers had blocked a total of 79 shots in their previous four games.
The Flyers outhit the Devils 36-17 on the game.
Braydon Coburn led the Flyers with four shots on goal. It’s the most shots he’s had in a game since he had five in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2.
Rookie defenseman Brandon Manning appeared in his third straight game since being recalled by the Flyers on Thursday.
Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson has averaged over 22 minutes of ice time in his last two games.
Jody Shelley received a 10-minute misconduct in tonight's game.
"They're tied up with us now. It's going to be a huge game for us [on Tuesday], we'll be back in front of our home fans and we really want that home-ice advantage so we have to find a way to get it done." - Claude Giroux
"Our attack was not where it needs to be and that takes a lot of energy and a lot of work." - Peter Laviolette
Tonight's turning point falls with the third Devils goal on the night.
New Jersey sniper Ilya Kovalchuk grabbed the puck on the outside of the left circle and came around to the middle of the ice and fired a laser above the glove hand of Sergei Bobrovsky with 12 minutes left to go in the 3rd period.
The goal gave the Devils their first two-goal advantage of the game and killed any momentum the Flyers had after finally solving Martin Brodeur at the opening of the third.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Andreas Lilja pins David Clarkson along the boards.
Devils 4, Flyers 1 Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Martin Brodeur made 18 saves for his 650th career victory and Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Sunday night in a showdown between surging Eastern Conference rivals.
Patrik Elias, Anton Volchenkov and Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who have won four straight and five of their last six. With victory, the Devils pulled even with the fifth-place Flyers. Both teams have 85 points, although the Flyers have played one fewer game.