The Flyers exhibited plenty of character Friday night to pick up a 4-3 shootout win over the Devils at the Prudential Center.
Head coach Alain Vigneault challenged his group, specifically the core pieces, following consecutive losses to divisional opponents by a combined score of 12-4.
It wasn't pretty, but the Flyers (6-5-1) answered behind Sean Couturier, Joel Farabee and Carter Hart to beat the Devils (2-5-4) for the second time this season.
• Couturier might be banged up and he still came through in a show-me game for the Flyers.
The do-it-all center put up a goal, an assist and scored the only tally in the shootout.
Couturier, who had the second-best faceoff win percentage (57.1) among the NHL's top-20 players in draws taken last season, took just three faceoffs Friday. Travis Konecny was in the dot more than Couturier, who never took fewer than six draws in a game last season.
Couturier lost his only three faceoffs Friday, while Konecny went 7 for 9. It's something to watch.
"I'm not feeling 100 percent," Couturier told reporters in Newark, New Jersey. "It's part of the season, it's a long season, you've got to battle through injuries. I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team win.
"Just cautious, being day to day … should be fine."
• Farabee picked a clutch time to score his first career NHL goal. The Flyers had just fallen behind, 3-2, on a deflating marker in the final frame.
The 19-year-old got everyone up a minute and a half later. At Boston University last season, Farabee ranked among the country's top 10 in game-winning goals. He has a knack for timely playmaking, exactly what the Flyers needed when they summoned him from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
• Hart, who had a 5.56 goals-against average over his previous four games and hadn't won since Oct. 9 against the Devils, made 23 saves on 26 shots. He responded well and two of the three goals came when the Flyers were shorthanded.
On the first tally, Philippe Myers let Wayne Simmonds backdoor him for a 1-0 New Jersey lead in the opening period. On the second marker, Travis Sanheim lost his footing, which allowed Nico Hischier to attack the net, shrink the Flyers' coverage and set up a wide-open shot for Sami Vatanen, tying the game at 2-2 in the middle stanza.
• Justin Braun has had a rough go 12 games into his Flyers career. He has an excellent stick, but he's 32 years old and not moving well.
It really showed Friday night on Taylor Hall's go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Braun is a team-worst minus-9 on the season and the Flyers need him to be better.
• Konecny and Oskar Lindblom have not skipped a beat this season.
The two have 24 combined points through the Flyers' first 12 games.
Last season, they had eight combined points through the Flyers' first 12 games.
• During the first period, Matt Niskanen delivered a clean check on 18-year-old center Jack Hughes. But if you put the 2019 first overall draft pick on his backside, Devils teammates are going to stand up for the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder. Directly after the check, Niskanen had to drop the gloves with Kyle Palmieri.
Matt Niskanen lays a hit on Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri comes to his defense. pic.twitter.com/wZZgnjk3s9— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 1, 2019
• It's only fitting that Simmonds' first goal with the Devils came against the Flyers.
The 31-year-old scored 91 power play goals with the Flyers, third most in the NHL since 2011-12, behind only Alex Ovechkin (153) and Steven Stamkos (98).
Simmonds got his first man advantage tally with New Jersey by beating Hart.
• German Rubtsov made his NHL debut, while Myers made his season debut. Rubtsov had an early turnover behind the Flyers' net and Myers wasn't sharp on the Simmonds goal, but both played well overall and made positive contributions.
• The Flyers are back home Saturday to play the Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). Dave Hakstol returns to the Wells Fargo Center as an assistant coach with Toronto (see story).
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