Newark, N.J. — Ilya Kovalchuk and Martin Brodeur led the New Jersey Devils past the Flyers on Sunday night, 4-1. It was an ugly loss for the Flyers, but Ilya Bryzgalov was not in net as the Flyers gave up three straight goals in the 3rd period. Instead, Sergei Bobrovsky made his first start since February 18th.
New Jersey controlled the game, except for the first 16 seconds of the third period when Claude Giroux scored his 25th off an assist from Jagr. His tally would tie the score at 1, but unfortunately that would be the only goal the Flyers would be able to muster.
The scoring began only 24.4 seconds left in the first period. Patrik Elias passed the puck to teammate, David Clarkson, who’s shot was then redirected top-shelf by Elias. It was a power play goal for the Devils, and their 1-0 lead would hold until the aforementioned goal by Giroux.
Shortly after Giroux’s tally, star forward Ilya Kovalchuk managed to gain possession of a loose puck and skate on a 2 on 1 with Anton Volchenkov. He shoveled a pass across the ice, and Volchenkov buried only the 18th goal of his career, his second of the season.
Kovalchuk then put the Devils up by two 6 minutes later on a 4 on 4. He skated into the slot and ripped a wrist-shot over the left shoulder of Bobrovksy. Zach Parise would scored at 14:19 on a power play to silence any hope of a comeback for the Flyers. Brodeur, a haunting, familiar face for Flyers fans, faced only 19 shots for his 650th overall victory.
The two teams meet again Tuesday night in Philly. It will be the final game of the season series, which the Devils lead 3-2. The Flyers were once again without Pavel Kubina, Andrej Meszaros, Kimmo Timonen, and Jakub Voracek.
The loss tonight did show that there are big holes in the team as of now. It would be a huge benefit to Flyers to get these key players back soon. They are now tied with the Devils, sit four points behind the Pens, and eight behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference. The 5-game winning streak has been snapped, but they’ll hope to bounce back with Bryz in net on Tuesday.