The Philadelphia Flyers may be guilty of napping in Newark as they let one go with a 4-2 loss against the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey is now within one victory of eliminating the Flyers and moving on to the next round to face either New York or Washington and it could happen as early as Tuesday night.
Try as they might, the three Z’s of New Jersey took them to task: Zubrus, Zidlicky and Zajac all had a great game, with Zubrus getting two goals including an empty netter to seal the deal. Zubrus also came back after a hit to the head from Giroux in the dying seconds of the second period, which was called a high sticking minor on the ice. It was puzzling to say the least, as sticks had nothing to do with it. In fact, it was a body check with no body or stick; it was simply head to shoulder contact. Further review may be necessary on this play, but Zubrus did come back for the third and the last goal.
Zidlicky got a goal and an assist in the first period when the Devils rallied back from a 2-0 hole to even the game. Zajac chipped in for an assist as well and though he wasn’t a scorer in this game, he has been doing a lot of the little things right on the ice to give his team a hand. Sykora rounded out the scoring and notched an assist as well.
There was one shining star for Philadelphia and it was, surprisingly, Bryzgalov. Criticized in the first round against Pittsburgh for spotty play, the Flyers netminder had to redeem himself and play more consistently for the team. He has done that in this round, giving his team a chance to win every night, but it’s his team that has let him down. Bryzgalov is solid, doing the things that made Philadelphia sign him to a ridiculous contract in the first place. He’s seeing the puck well, tracking it, making himself big in the net and pucks are melting into his body with no rebounds.
Bryzgalov is bringing his game. The rest of his team looks disorganized, flustered and disheartened. After an emotionally charged first round bout in the Battle of Pennsylvania, the Flyers look drained against a charged up New Jersey Devils squad that clearly believes in itself. The Devils are forcing the Flyers to play on their heels and they are fully invested in this series. That’s why they’re going to win.
Giroux may be injured, Hartnell may have other things on his mind, Jagr might be feeling his age, Briere may just be tired of doing it all. Whatever the excuse, the Flyers have to be better if they want a chance to claw their way back into this series. But the Devils have never lost a game when they’re up 3-1 i n a series and with Brodeur playing like Brodeur, even as he turns 40 today, the chances of a comeback are slim to none. The Devils have a serious lead on the Flyers; now they can turn their attention to more important matters, like watching Marty Brodeur blow out the candles on his cake.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.