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POSTGAME 5: Devil's Advocate

Devils jump on Flyers early, earn 5-0 win on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
For the second time in February, the Flyers did not take care of business on home ice in a trap-game scenario. On Thursday night, the Flyers fell, 5-0, to the New Jersey Devils.

Blake Coleman scored on the opening shift of the game. Damon Severson added a power play goal early in the second period to double the Devils' lead. A Pavel Zacha shorthanded goal at 1:10 of the third period was a dagger to the Flyers' hopes of a comeback push. Miles Wood made things worse on a breakaway a few minutes later and then struck again on yet another New Jersey transitional rush.

Brian Elliott went the first 44:23 of the game, yielding four goals on 17 shots before giving way to Alex Lyon. In relief, Lyon stopped 1 of 2 shots. Mackenzie Blackwood notched a 46-save shutout.

Three Stars:
1st: Mackenzie Blackwood (46-save shutout)
2nd: Pavel Zacha (1g, +3)
3rd: Miles Wood (2g)

TURNING POINT
Moments after the opening faceoff, Phil Myers was way too casual going to back to retrieve a PK Subban dump-in, and got beaten to the puck by Travis Zajac. In the meantime, the other Flyers were caught puck watching. The result was Coleman's goal at the 13-second mark. The Devils led the rest of the way. 

MELTZER'S TAKE
1) After the Coleman goal got things off on the wrong foot, the first period was an uneven for the Flyers. They generated periodic pressure and some scoring chances, including a Kevin Hayes breakaway, but also hurt themselves with careless puck management. 

2) Elliott came up with three separate 10-bell saves to keep the deficit to one goal heading to intermission... No two ways about it - Elliott needed to make a save on Severson's right circle shot on New Jersey's early second period power play. As the period progressed, the Flyers had all sorts of scoring chances with a 16-5 shot edge.

3) The Flyers had a golden opportunity when PK Subban was called for tripping (actually, slew footing) Voracek. Unfortunately, the Flyers yielded yet another shorthanded rush off a turnover, and Zacha scored from the left circle. It was another stoppable shot. Things got even worse as Shayne Gostisbehere bobbled a puck at the offensive blueline, Wood went off on a breakaway and beat Elliott with a low shot from the slot. That ended Elliott's end.

4) The No. 1 difference when the Flyers have played top teams lately vs. teams like NJ and MTL (and even the DET game) is in the puck management focus and the shift-in/shift-out urgency to battle for every foot of space on either side of puck. The Flyers had the majority of the territorial edge in this game, and an advantage in scoring chances, but they were their own worst enemies at times.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* The Flyers suffered their first loss to the Devils this season, and had their three-game winning streak against the Devils snapped.

* The Flyers outshot the Devils 46 to 19... including 37 to 8 in the final two periods.

* Ivan Provorov played in his 300th NHL game and 300th consecutive game... He is the fourth player from the 2015 Draft Class to reach the 300 game mark.

* Claude Giroux also played in his 300th consecutive game tonight.

* The Flyers travel to the nation's capital to take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. Puck drop is 7 p.m. on NBCSP & 97.5 The Fanatic.
 
THEY SAID IT
Video: Hear from Flyers coach following loss to NJDVideo: Hear from Ghost, Giroux and Elliott after loss

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