Sergei Bobrovsky was looking forward to his next start after the Flyers high-scoring affair against the Winnipeg Jets last Thursday.
And even though he didn’t get the victory, ‘Bob’ certainly shined in the Flyers 4-3 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils tonight.
Bobrovsky turned aside 36 of 39 shots in total, facing 21 in the second period alone from the Devils.
What was more impressive was stopping the onslaught of scoring chances the Devils threw at him all game long.
One by one, they were denied.
Zach Parise was robbed on a one-timer in the slot midway through the first period and Ilya Kovalchuk on a breakaway towards the end of the second period.
Dainius Zubrus was stopped on a point-blank chance on top of the crease at the 1:27 mark of the first period. All were shut down by Bobrovsky.
“There are a lot of things that I think we could do better in front of him to prevent certain things," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "But I think again the second period they had their foot on the gas and we were watching a little bit too much.”
Unfortunately, in the end it wasn’t enough as Patrik Elias slid the puck just under the left pad for the game-winning shootout tally.
“Of course today was a little bit better, but we still came up short, so there’s not too much to get happy about,” said Bobrovsky following the game.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers are now 18-for-42 on regular season penalty shots and 2-for-8 in playoff penalty shots.
The 21 shots by the Devils against the Flyers were the third-most the Devils have ever had in a period against the Flyers. They had 23 in the second period of a game on Feb. 7, 1987 and 22 in the third period of a game on Oct. 8, 1997. The 39 total shots are the most the Devils have had in a game against the Flyers since they had 42 on March 1, 2009.
The Flyers penalty kill specialist had a little extra jump in his game tonight, forcing two breakaways while the Flyers were shorthanded, including one in which he was awarded a penalty shot.
In what seemed like he knew what he was doing all along, Talbot skated wide to the right on NJ goaltender Johan Hedberg, and after a small deke, fired a shot low to the blocker side to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead early in the third frame.
Talbot was also responsible for keeping the Devils scoreless on the power-play, helping kill off all three advantages in the game.
"He kind of surprised me with the poke check and I almost fell. I wanted to keep moving forward but he kind of surprised me and I stumbled and almost stopped completely. I know the rule. You’re not allowed to go backwards and you’re not allowed to stop completely. To be honest, I wasn't trying to stop completely. I just got surprised and stumbled a little bit.” - Danny Briere
"Scoring my first goal is very special. It definitely gives me a little more confidence with the puck. It was a great forecheck by my two wingers Shelley and Couts. They were on the forecheck and I was high in the slot. They got the puck to me and one thing led to another and I was able to find the back of the net." - Zac Rinaldo
David Clarkson’s game-tying goal with just over six minutes to play in the game is tonight’s turning point. The Flyers held on to force overtime and the eventual shootout, but New Jersey gained momentum and confidence to grab the full two points.
Clarkson remained behind in the play in the Flyers’ defensive zone.
Following a Flyers turnover, flicked a puck backhand, which seemed to hand-cuff Sergei Bobrovsky and trickle into the net.
The Devils, who now own a 3-1 record this year in shootouts, scored on two of their three attempts.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Zac Rinaldo lays a hit on Adam Larsson in the first period.
Devils 4, Flyers 3, SO Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Patrik Elias and Zach Parise scored in the shootout to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Elias scored the winner on New Jersey's final attempt. Parise beat Sergei Bobrovsky on the stick side on the first attempt.
Danny Briere scored the only shootout goal for Philadelphia. His goal was reviewed after he appeared to skid to a stop in front of Johan Hedberg, using the sweet fake to pound in the easy score.
David Clarkson tied the score at 3-all late in the third period after a costly turnover by the Flyers. Parise and Adam Henrique scored in the second to rally the Devils from a 2-0 hole.
Zac Rinaldo and Claude Giroux scored second-period goals for the Flyers. Max Talbot scored in the third on a penalty shot for a 3-2 lead.