While the Rangers and Islanders have the Devils number, the Devils certainly have the Flyers number, now beating them in 6 of the last 7 matchups. However, unlike the previous matchups, the Flyers are also playing with desperation fighting for a playoff birth in the conference.
The Devils have scored 3 or more goals in roughly 84% of their wins. Tonight was no exception, with the Devils scoring 4 goals and getting another 3 in the shootout to clinch two more points which they desperately needed after losing five straight.
The entire game they played strong, including a very well-played penalty kill which has struggled recently, killing off only about 70% of their penalties – not a good number at all.
Fans at the Prudential Center worried, however, as halfway through the first Philadelphia’s Vaclav Prospal scored the first goal. The Devils came back at the end of the period to score two straight and bring the confidence back in to the locker room for the 1st intermission.
In the second, Jamie Langenbrunner of the Devils and James Dowd of the Flyers scored before the halfway mark, with the Devils still in the lead by one goal for the second intermission.
The Flyers tied things up in the third period as Randy Jones scored at 8:18 in. Brian Gionta then scored with 6 minutes remaining to give the Devils the lead. But with 56 seconds remaining, Mike Knuble of the Flyers scored to tie things back up. After that, both teams accepted the one point eagerly and waited for Overtime to start.
In the past 6 games the Devils have given up a late goal in the third period to relinquish their lead or tie.
The teams passed 5 minutes of Overtime to find themselves in the shootout. Although the Flyers managed to squeeze two shots past Devils netminder Martin Brodeur, Brian Gionta, Patrik Elias, and Jamie Langenbrunner all scored to win the shootout for the Devils and end the five game losing streak.