Instant Replay: Devils 3, Flyers 0

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Instant Replay: Devils 3, Flyers 0

BOX SCORE

NEWARK, N.J. -- Its deja vu all over again, Yogi!

The Flyers are 0-3 for the first time since the 1994-95 lockout-shortened season -- it's funny how lockouts repeat themselves.

That it had to happen against the Devils during their 3-0 home opener at the Prudential Center is especially painful, given last seasons playoff results.

Three games in, the Flyers have been outscored, 11-3. No Danny Briere -- hes injured. No Jaromir Jagr -- hes in Dallas.

Its just the third time in franchise history the Flyers have lost three games (without a tie or overtime loss) to start a season.

The Devils scored three goals on their first five shots of the game against Ilya Bryzgalov, though those opportunities spread into the second period.

The Flyers, meanwhile, were scorched on a penalty shot, faced yet another 5-on-3 penalty kill and even had an abuse of the officials bench minor called on them.

This is how bad things have become for the Flyers through three games.

They pretty much dominated the Devils in the opening period -- they didn't allow a shot for the first 12:29. But they still trailed, 2-0, at intermission.

Travis Zajac got an easy rebound at 1:07 with no Flyers defenseman within 20 feet of the net after a change. After that, Patrik Elias had a single harmless chance on net and the Flyers held a 9-2 advantage in shots, had two power plays, and couldnt dent Marty Brodeur.

They even used Tye McGinn, making his NHL debut, on the second power play unit with fellow forwards Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. McGinn served as a big body parked in front of the crease.

In the final 25 seconds of the frame, with Braydon Coburn in the box for interference, David Clarkson took an errant point shot from behind the net, wheeled around and turned the puck into Bryzgalov.

Did we mention the goalie had lost his stick? No matter. The puck hit Ruslan Fedotenkos skate and went into the far side.

If you had to pick a pivotal moment that simply deflated the Flyers, that was it. The game went all downhill from there.

If that wasnt bad enough, the Flyers were again victimized by their horrid special teams.

Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, it was the penalty kill. Tuesday night, it was the power(less) play, as Kimmo Timonen giveaway the puck to Ilya Kovalchuk and had no choice but to haul him down.

That set up a shorthanded penalty shot that Kovalchuk backhanded over Bryzgalov for a 3-0 lead just 2:44 into the second period.

The Flyers were 0-for-6 on the power play in this one and are now 1-for-15 on the season.

Before the period ended, David Clarkson steamrolled Timonen and then Wayne Simmonds answered by cross-checking Brodeur on the shoulder.

Remember, the Flyers didnt have any enforcers in their lineup.

Finally, as if things could get any worse, Timonen ripped a shot into Scott Hartnell seven minutes into the third period. He was literally hartnelldown and noticeably labored for the remainder of the game.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net

Flyers-Islanders 5 things: Wild-card race about to get busy

Flyers-Islanders 5 things: Wild-card race about to get busy

Flyers (36-32-8) vs. Islanders (35-28-12)
7 p.m. on CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App; Pregame Live at 6:30

The Flyers welcome the New York Islanders to the Wells Fargo Center Thursday on a busy night in the wild card.

Here are five things to know for the game:

1. Let's get wild
Ready for some movement in the Eastern Conference playoff race?

The four teams ahead of the Flyers for the second wild card are all in action Thursday.

The Bruins (vs. Stars) still lead the pack at 86 points, followed by the Lightning (vs. Red Wings) with 83. The Islanders come to Philadelphia with 82 points, while the Hurricanes (vs. Blue Jackets) also have 82.

And one more team to follow: the Maple Leafs (at Predators), who lead the Bruins by only one point for third place in Atlantic Division.

2. Time to streak?
With all the inconsistency, the Flyers are looking to win three games in a row for the first time since Jan. 22-25.

The final six contests for the Flyers are no cakewalks because every single one is against the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are 9-13-2 in divisional play and have a record of 6-9-1 against the remaining clubs on the schedule.

They still have to play the Blue Jackets and Rangers, two top-five NHL teams.

And they also get the Devils twice more, a team that has won the first three meetings between the two by a combined score of 14-3.

We'll see if the Flyers can flip the script and make things interesting.

"We're not going to quit until the end of the season," Travis Konecny said Tuesday. "That's the way we are. It's the character of our team. It's the things we've shown all year.
 
"Our games may not show it at times, our scores, but I think each and every night we always compete, we always battle. I think things are starting to happen for us."

3. Weal's turning
Jordan Weal has provided a legitimate jolt to the Flyers, who desperately needed offense.

He'll see more and more ice time if he continues to perform the way he has in the past two games, putting up two goals and an assist.

Dave Hakstol has liked the early chemistry on the new second line of Weal, Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds.

"I think right now, Wayne Simmonds is playing some of his best hockey of the year in terms of a power forward game," Hakstol said Tuesday. "He is just a straight forward, power forward right now. He is very tough to handle down low and I think that is adding an element for Fil and Weal there."

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere has looked like his old self offensively the past two games in which he has one goal and two assists. He's been active with nine shots, while his point blast looks sharp. The Flyers will need more of that the rest of the way.

Islanders: It has to be John Tavares, who does so much for the Islanders. The captain has 28 goals and 37 assists this season. Twelve of his 65 points have come in the previous 12 games. He also has put up 15 goals and 14 assists in 37 career games against the Flyers.

5. This and that
* Steve Mason will make his 14th start in the last 16 games. Over his past 13 outings, Mason is 8-4-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

* Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss has been tough on the Flyers in two starts this season, going 1-0-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.

* New York has lost two straight games and six of its last nine.

* Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk is likely to return from a foot injury that has sidelined him since March 5.

Flyers taking 'never die' approach to final playoff push

Flyers taking 'never die' approach to final playoff push

Nothing has changed for the Flyers as they enter Thursday night's game against the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.
 
They remain six points behind Boston for the wild card. They still have four teams to leapfrog over to claim the second wild card spot.
 
Their Tragic Number remains 6 points -- points the Bruins need to eliminate them or points the Flyers need to lose to eliminate themselves.
 
The only difference tonight is the Flyers are playing head-to-head against a team in front of them in the chase.
 
The Islanders absolutely feel they're in this thing even after losing to the Bruins this week. So if they think like that, why not the Flyers?
 
"Obviously a team that is in the race with us," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. "But, in general, we know we pretty much have to win every game. Our focus is on the Islanders. The big picture is not a picture we like to see.
 
"But at the end of the day, we have to worry about the New York Islanders. It's the only thing we can control now. We can't control future games or other teams."
 
There was genuine euphoria after the Flyers' comeback, 3-2 shootout win over Ottawa on Tuesday. Some of that excitement was immediately tempered when the players realized Boston had won as well.
 
Yet there is a noticeable difference in the Flyers dressing room right now. Guys are looser and more relaxed after three wins in their last four games.
 
"We keep doing what we keep doing," coach Dave Hakstol said. "Guys keep showing up. We're playing hard for each other and taking care of business. We've been real focused on doing that, day after day and night after night."
 
Several players said this week that the games right now are "fun" to play, despite the obvious pressure to gain a playoff spot that is virtually impossible to attain at this point because the numbers overwhelmingly favor clubs ahead of the Flyers.
 
Have games become "fun" because the players are resigned that it's out of their hands and they are now content to allow the chips to fall where they may be?
 
"No, I'll be honest, I think we are seeing some results," Hakstol said. "When you play hard and don't get results it's not fun. But we've continued to play hard and are getting some of the results right now.
 
"We all know the reality of our situation and don't have to revisit it day-in, day-out. We know that for us the most important thing is take care of our own business. That's the single-minded focus of our group right now.
 
"Come to the rink, playing hard together and winning becomes fun. We got to just turn the page, come out and play hard again."
 
Among those Flyers who believe the impossible is doable is defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
 
"Our motto is ‘Never die,'" Gostisbehere said. "We know what's against us here. We're just taking it game by game and we're just trying to win every game.
 
"I think you can tell it's a little looser in this locker room, but we’re still going out there putting our best foot forward and trying to win games."
 
The Flyers are 2-1 against the Isles this season.
 
Lineup:
 
F: Read-Giroux-Voracek
Weal-Filppula-Simmonds
Weise-Couturier-Schenn
Vandevelde-Bellemare-Konecny
 
D: Provorov-MacDonald
Del Zotto-Gostisbehere
Manning-Gudas
 
G: Mason; Neuvirth