At the morning skate, Danny Briere talked about how the Penguins came up with an enormous effort in Game 4 without three players in their lineup and humiliated the Flyers, 10-3.
Well, Pete DeBoers Devils gave a truly inspiring performance Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals without Ilya Kovachuk, pressuring the Flyers and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov without mercy, start to finish.
Ultimately, Bryzgalov and the Flyers cracked, losing 4-1 at Wells Fargo Center. The series is tied, 1-1, and moves to Newark, N.J. for Game 3 on Thursday, where New Jersey can gain home ice.
Bryz was outstanding much of the evening as the Flyers were badly outplayed offensively and outshot, 34-20. Bryz kept this game from becoming an early blowout as New Jersey pinned the Flyers in their end of the ice, holding them captive for nearly two periods.
Bryz was forced to work off a 1-0 lead much of the game until 3:08 of the third period when Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, making his playoff debut, scored on a brilliant snap-wrister on four-on-four to tie the game.
Eight minutes later, David Clarkson converted a rebound to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead. Petr Sykoras backhand wraparound soon after iced the game as Bryzgalov had no help.
After Game 1s dreadful first period, Peter Laviolette and his players said at the morning skate that priority No. 1 was a quick start.
Then again, quick starts have been few and far between all season for the Flyers. This time, however, it happened as Brodeur was under siege in the games opening minutes. It resulted in Matt Reads third goal of the playoffs.
New Jersey quickly got back into the game and actually made a strong push on the Flyers the remainder of the period, out-shooting them, 13-9.
This is where Bryzgalov again stood out just as he did in the opening period of Game 1. He denied Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Calder Trophy rookie finalist Adam Henrique on scoring opportunities in the crease.
The period belonged to Bryz. The Russian goalie made one terrific save after another.
Dainius Zubrus from the left slot. A turnaround through a screen 10 feet from the net by Henrique. A snap-wrister from Peter Harrold, who switched from defense to right wing for this game in Kovalchuks absence.
Though the Flyers began the second period on the power play, ever since the six-day break between series things have not gone well with the man advantage.
The passing hasnt been sharp and the rotation of players in the zone hasn't been smooth. Give credit to the Devils, too.
While their penalty kill hasnt been very good during these playoffs, it seems to be more closely resembling the regular season when New Jersey led the NHL with an aggressive attack mode.
Remember how New Jersey outshot the Flyers 11-0 to start Game 1? Well, the Devils topped that with a 12-0 effort in the second period, keeping the Flyers trapped in their own end.
With less than two minutes left, it was looking like the Flyers would make history for having failed to get a shot until Claude Giroux forced Brodeur to make a pad save on a slapper from the point.
The Flyers finished the second stanza with just two shots.