Flyers' mission: Repeat goal barrage against Devils
The Philadelphia Flyers rebounded nicely from their second blowout loss and became the first team to score five times against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
After a productive night of offense, the Flyers will aim for another one Thursday night when they visit the Devils for the second game of their two-game series in Newark, N.J.
Philadelphia's 25 goals are tied with the Washington Capitals for the most in the East Division, and 11 of those came in the first two games. The Flyers followed up their first two wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins by losing three of their next four (1-2-1), including a pair of 6-1 losses to the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins.
Philadelphia rebounded from its Saturday loss at Boston with a 5-3 win at New Jersey on Tuesday. The Flyers outshot the Devils 31-26.
Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk scored two power-play goals, and four of his five goals have come in the past three games. Four of his goals are on power plays, matching his total from last season.
"You try to use the time that you have in the offseason to prepare yourself the best you can to play, and sometimes you get a little bit of puck luck and stuff like that, too, so that's been good," van Riemsdyk said. "Obviously, I'm just trying to go out there every game and be consistent from game to game, practice to practice. We have a lot of good players to play with, so that makes it fun."
van Riemsdyk is not the only Flyer off to a strong start. Travis Konecny has five goals, Jakub Voracek has seven assists and Claude Giroux has six assists, and the trio combined for four points Tuesday.
New Jersey has played the past three games without starting goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who is 2-0-1 with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage. Blackwood is on the NHL's COVID-19 protocol list and has not played since a Jan. 19 win against the New York Rangers.
Scott Wedgewood started the past three games and allowed eight goals sandwiched around a 2-0 blanking of the New York Islanders on Sunday.
The Devils have yet to lose consecutive games this season and have followed each loss by winning a low-scoring game.
Tuesday was the second time this season the Devils scored at least three goals, but it also was the first time they allowed a three-goal period. The Flyers got goals from Nolan Patrick, Joel Farabee and Ivan Provorov in the third period to take the lead after the Devils' Michael McLeod and Travis Zajac scored in a five-minute span to tie the game in the second period.
"There was a lot of good five-on-five inside that game," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. "I saw a lot of comeback in us, I saw a lot of desperation, there was no quit. We're still in that kind of learn to win and learn how not to lose (phase)."
While the Devils pleased Ruff with their even-strength performance, they allowed two power-play goals for the fourth time this season. Opponents are 8-for-23 against the Devils on the man advantage this season, and the only time New Jersey has won when allowing multiple power-play goals was Jan. 19 against the Rangers.
--Field Level Media