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GOOD THIRD... BUT It's obvious that the Flyers didn't play the way they wanted to in the first two periods in today's 6-4 loss to the Devils.
And it's obvious that they played exactly the way they wanted to in the third period.
But after what would have been a historic comeback fell just short, at the end of the day it's still a loss. It's still two points given to a conference and division opponent.
"It’s hard, we lost. It’s hard to feel better," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "I asked the guys, and to their credit, they went out and they played really hard in the third period. Trying to set it back straight. The ship went off course for a couple periods. I do think it’s important to get it back. You can't walk out here and say you feel good."
The points may have been lost, but if there's any period to try and carry over momentum heading into another important game less than 24-hours later it would be the third period.
The Flyers not only shut out the Devils in the final frame, but held them to just one shot on goal. In contrast, the Flyers fired a season-high 24 shots on net, scoring four unanswered goals to make a comeback even possible.
"It’s a little disheartening but that third period, we can take some positive out of it," said Hartnell. "We were flying. That’s the way we have to play to win games and we wanted to win that second period and I don’t think we thought we’d be that close but we got to carry that over into tomorrow.”
Tommorow's opponent is the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division leading New York Rangers, an opponent the Flyers have yet to defeat this season, going 0-3-0.
|Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers set a new franchise record for largest single-period shot differential (23) when they outshot the Devils 24-1 in the third period. |
The previous record was 21, which happened on April 4, 1982 when the Flyers outshot the Toronto Maple Leafs 22-1 in the first period of a 7-1 win in the last game of the 1981-82 season.
Also per Elias, the last time the Flyers had 24 or more shots in a single period was on February 13, 1988 when they had 25 shots in the second period of a 7-4 loss to Toronto.
Claude Giroux was 17-for-24 (71 percent) on faceoffs today, marking the 11th time in his last 12 games that he has been 50 percent or better. It’s the third time this season Giroux has won 17 or more faceoffs in a game.
The Flyers have now scored a power play goal in six consecutive games.
The Flyers are now 4-6-1 this season in games that start before 7pm. They have been shut out in two of those games and have allowed six goals in five of them.
Jaromir Jagr gets tonight's Flyers star. Jagr recorded his first goal since Dec. 29 and added another assist for a two-point effort in the Flyers loss today.
Jagr recorded the second Flyers goal around the midway point of the third period to make it 6-2.
Just over three minutes later, Jagr set up Claude Giroux to cut the Devils lead in half.
He now has points in three straight games with a goal and three assists during that span.
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|“He said obviously it’s been a frustrating game so far, he said it was frustrating for everyone. I think we took it upon ourselves, we have a big game tomorrow at 1o’clock. Even if we just win 20 minutes, it’s a start.” |
- Wayne Simmonds
"I feel guys, when we get a goal, get the momentum, and when we get on the forecheck. I think when we play our game we're pretty dangerous offensively."
- Claude Giroux
"Whatever happens in the first period, it’s okay. We were down 3-0, it happens. This team proved many times that even at 3-0 we can come back. And, that’s why this team is so special. I think many players do not realize it."
- Jaromir Jagr
|Today's turning point came 1:37 seconds into the second period when Alexei Ponikarovsky scored to give the Devils a 5-0 lead. |
The Flyers fell behind by three goals to start the game, including two goals scored within a minute of each other in the final minute of play which also included a heartbreaking goal scored with less than one second left in the period.
The fourth Devils goal came just 38 seconds into the second period, but the difference maker occurred a minute later with Ponikarovsky's tally that made the Flyers comeback fall just short.
The Devils followed that up with another goal seven minutes later to give them a 6-0 lead, which eventually turned into the 6-4 loss.
|PIC OF THE NIGHT: Jakub Voracek scores the Flyers' fourth goal to bring them within two goals. |
Devils 6, Flyers 4
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ilya Kovalchuk's fists outshined his team's sparkling special teams.
Kurtis Foster scored a pair of power-play goals, and the New Jersey Devils held on for a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Kovalchuk, Dainius Zubrus, Zach Parise and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Devils, who have won three in a row. New Jersey's special teams scored three times on the power play and once short-handed.