Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media
|FINAL | Game 31, Home Game 16 | Tuesday, March 23, 2021|
|Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA|
Flyers LineupForward lines
James van Riemsdyk – Sean Couturier – Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl – Nolan Patrick – Nicolas Aube-KubelDefense pairings
Ivan Provorov – Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim – Justin Braun
Erik Gustafsson – Philippe MyersGoaltenders
Carter Hart – Brian ElliottScratches
Connor Bunnaman, Carsen Twarynski, Andy Andreoff, Nate ProsserInjuries
Morgan Frost (dislocated shoulder), Robert Hagg (shoulder)
Game Report written by Amy Johnson
It’s getting to be about that time for the Flyers, when every point really starts to count more than ever. They’ve buried themselves in the points race with their inconsistent and subpar play over the past few weeks, and coming up short in overtime like they did on Monday night just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Alain Vigneault and his team admitted that they played an improved game on Monday, but that they still had a lot of work to do. The only change to the lineup tonight against the Devils would be Carter Hart in net, with Brian Elliott backing up.
Could a weak interference penalty called on Justin Braun just 30 seconds into the game be considered an omen of what was to come? Perhaps. But the Flyers killed off the penalty and continued on.
To say it was an uninspired period for the Flyers would be kind. They showed very little competitiveness, and their defensive zone play was downright abhorrent. Zone entries were equally sloppy, leading Philadelphia very little opportunity to set up in the New Jersey zone and get anything close to sustained pressure or shots going.
Michael McLeod scored the first goal off of a swift little give-and-go play as he and Ty Smith skated easily down the middle of the Flyers’ zone. But soon it was Smith’s turn to sit for a couple of minutes, and Joel Farabee potted the tying goal on a Jakub Voracek rebound during the man advantage.
Less than two minutes before the end of the period, Travis Sanheim was whistled for holding which drew the ire of the forward and Vigneault. The replay clearly showed that it was, in fact, Sanheim’s stick being held by one of the Devils. On the ensuing New Jersey power play, Kyle Palmieri was left all along on the left side. A bobbled clearing attempt by Kevin Hayes led to Palmieri getting the puck and putting it past Hart with just five seconds left in the period.
Another day, another second period slide. If the first period was less-then-impressive, then you didn’t want to watch the middle frame. The Flyers and Devils exchanged trips to the penalty box a couple of times each, and while neither team scored on the man advantage, it was only New Jersey who found the back of the net in even-strength play.
Sean Couturier came close to potting a shorthanded goal but rang the puck off the iron. But neither Yegor Sharangovich nor Travis Zajac missed their targets to give New Jersey a 4-1 lead going into the second intermission.
On Sharangovich’s goal, Philippe Myers controlled the puck along the wall with his back toward the ice. He mistakenly tried to feed the puck around behind the goal, but no orange sweaters were there. Instead the Devils took control of the puck and scored.
Just 23 seconds before the period ended, New Jersey entered the Flyers zone on an odd-man rush and the defense all focused in one direction, leaving Zajac alone to score.
Vigneault wasn’t mixing up martinis in the intermission, he was mixing up his line combinations. Lots of different looks for the forward group in the third period, and none of them really were able to generate anything sustainable. A couple of players could be seen continuing to battle, but the general team cohesiveness just wasn’t there.
In a rare spark, in the final 10 minutes of the game, the Flyers worked some magic on the rush with Travis Konecny skating the puck down the right side and feeding it over to Couturier who was waiting at the net front to immediately put the puck over the line.
Then, with Hart pulled for the extra attacker, Voracek dished the puck in front from behind the net to Couturier in the slot who redirected it past Blackwood to pull the Flyers within a goal of tying the game. But that’s where the comeback would come to an end.
What’s Next?The Flyers will host the New York Rangers again on Thursday night, but before that happens General Manager Chuck Fletcher will meet with the media on Wednesday to give his mid-season press conference. Expect lots of questions (and hopefully an equal amount of answers) about the trade deadline, goaltending, defense, and the current Flyers troubles.
Plus / Minus
▲ Oskar Lindblom, Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim
▼ Shayne Gostisbehere, Philippe Myers
|1 for 3||Power Play||1 for 4|
Stars of the Game
|NHL Official Three Stars|
What Did They Say?
Alain Vigneault: “We have to continue to work. There’s no doubt in my mind we had the right intentions but it seemed like we didn’t have a lot in the tank…We have to reenergize and refocus…We had a push at the end but it obviously wasn’t enough.”
Sean Couturier: “We need to be more consistent. Work smarter. We’re trying hard. Everyone wants to win but we need to be smarter and more responsible. We’ll find a way to get the results we want.”
Quotes courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers
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By Amy Johnson, Lead Correspondent The Flyers Report Copyright © 2021 Rocket Sports