On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers closed out a six game road trip with a 3-2 overtime win against their Metropolitan Division rivals, the New Jersey Devils. The win ends a six game road trip, in which the Flyers executed well as a team and won five out of the six games. Thanks to an overtime goal from Brayden Schenn, the team is now fifth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Metropolitan Division, playing quality hockey under Craig Berube.
Tuesday night's matchup with the Devils did not bode entirely well for the Flyers until the third period and overtime. Backup goalie Ray Emery and the Flyers spent much of the game trailing Martin Brodeur and the Devils by one goal, due to Adam Henrique's goal in the opening minute of the first period. The Devils held a 1-0 lead for over 45 minutes, until just over five minutes into the third period, when Claude Giroux lit the lamp on a power play. Giroux, who had found out earlier in the day that he had been left off Canada's Olympic Roster, cranked a wrister in traffic that Brodeur never saw and just caught the upper right corner of the net, tying the game.
Just four minutes later, near the halfway point of the third period, Scott Hartnell emerged from the Philadelphia zone, moving the puck all the way across the ice to Brayden Schenn on the right wing. As the teams moved up with three skaters apiece, Schenn returned the puck all the way across the ice to Hartnell, who moved in on the left wing and beat Brodeur through the five-hole to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. The passing on this goal was particularly impressive, as Schenn and Hartnell played catch across the width of the rink twice to set up the goal.
But the Devils were not going down without a fight. With just under two minutes to go and his team trailing 2-1, Travis Zajac caught Claude Giroux up high with a stick and went to the box, allowing the Flyers to go on the power play and close the game out. However, thanks in part to former Flyer and future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey found themselves controlling the puck in the Philadelphia zone with just over 30 seconds left in the game and Brodeur on the bench for the extra skater, making it a 5 on 5. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky navigated through traffic and delivered an extremely well-advised pass to the other side of the net, where Michael Ryder was waiting. Ryder beat Emery, who could not cover the right side of his net in time, and the Devils tied the game just 30 seconds before they would have lost.
This forced overtime, and about 90 seconds in, the Devils nearly won the game on a Stephen Gionta shot that just glanced off the right post. But Braydon Coburn and the Flyers brought the rebound back up ice, where Wayne Simmons found Nik Grossmann at the point. Grossmann hesitated, then faked a shot and instead passed to a flying Brayden Schenn, who was barreling up the right wing. Schenn took the pass off of his skate, and blasted it right past Brodeur to give the Flyers a win in dramatic fashion. The last 30 seconds of game featured two major scoring chances – but the Flyers were the team able to come away with the goal and the win.
What a way to end the game, and what a way to finish off a successful road trip. After being scored on in unlikely circumstances as the third period was winding down, the Flyers caught a huge break on Gionta's post and were able to move up and score, made possible by an incredible pass by Grossmann and great reflexes by Brayden Schenn. In addition to the 5-1 mark on the road trip, the Flyers have won 8 out of their last 10 games, and continue to climb the standings in both the Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division.
Steve Mason got the night off for the Flyers, and Ray Emery stood tall for the orange and black. He stopped 31 of 33 shots, and had luck in the form of a post on his side in overtime. He picks up the win, and allows Mason to return as the Flyers get right back to work tonight against the Montreal Canadiens at home. It's an odd scheduling quirk, but the Flyers will participate in back-to-back games as they come off this road trip. They move to 22-17-4 with 48 points after the win, good for 5th in the Eastern Conference and 2nd in the Metropolitan Division.
New Jersey: 19:30 – SHG – Michael Ryder (14), Assisted by Marek Zidlicky (16) and Andy Greene (15)
Philadelphia: 1:50 – Brayden Schenn (11), Assisted by Nicklas Grossman (9) and Wayne Simmonds (15)
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