NEWARK, N.J. — The Flyers got all the bounces, for once.
Playing in front of their eighth different goaltender Friday night, the Flyers took down the Devils, 6-3, at the Prudential Center to keep their playoff hopes alive.
James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny scored twice and Jakub Voracek added three assists (see highlights).
Here are my observations:
• The Flyers came out of the gates looking as if they were stuck in quicksand. They allowed the Devils to fly around and control the puck for the opening five minutes. Fourth-line winger Kurtis Gabriel took much of that momentum away after clobbering Nolan Patrick in the back up against the glass, which led to a five-minute major.
NBC Sports Philadelphia Flyers analyst Chris Therien called it "the dumbest hit I’ve seen all year."
• As a result of the hit on Patrick, you could sense that things would blow up between these two teams once the score got out of hand, and there were a handful of skirmishes, pushing and shoving after the whistle.
The theater continued into the penalty box during the third period with Travis Konecny jawing with Damon Severson, who took a crosscheck from Konecny that started the fracas.
• However, the Flyers' power play was completely out of sync and it actually gave up more shots (four to two) to New Jersey’s PK during that five minutes. The Flyers had no business getting out of that first with a 2-0 lead.
• A good start for Cam Talbot in his Flyers debut as he came up with a big save on a Blake Coleman’s shorthanded breakaway chance. He was certainly under pressure early on. His first goal allowed came after making the first save on Kenny Agostino, but his rebound was kicked right out to Severson.
Talbot’s second goal was much of the same as he deflected the initial shot to his right, but Jesper Bratt had enough time to backhand the rebound in for a goal. While he had no shot at stopping the first rebound goal, Talbot was a little slow to react on the second one. Can’t help but wonder if this has been a root of his issues over the past few years in Edmonton.
• After an impressive Flyers debut for Ryan Hartman, I thought the Flyers' winger took a step back with a bad charging penalty and a trip that he got away with. Hartman wasn’t much of an offensive presence on the Flyers' third line, as well. However, he had a beautiful no-look pass from behind the net to JVR to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.
Plays like that show a skill set that makes him versatile if interim head coach Scott Gordon needs to move him up and down the lineup.
• Gordon continues to give Philippe Myers more responsibility. The defenseman was paired with Robert Hagg on the Flyers' second-period penalty kill, and Myers even felt confident to jump in offensively and try to catch the Devils' power play sleeping.
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