NEWARK, N.J. -- Once again for the Flyers, another brutal deal with the Devils.
With their playoff hopes already on life support, the Flyers inexcusably lost to New Jersey on Thursday night at the Prudential Center, 6-2.
The Devils came in freefalling, having lost 10 straight games. But, somehow, the unpredictable Flyers have now lost all three meetings so far with New Jersey this season, being outscored 14-3 in the process.
And salt in the Flyers' wound: Steve Mason was forced out of action with a third-period injury on a breakaway goal against (see story).
With 12 regular-season games left, the Flyers (32-30-8), at 72 points, are six points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot. The Maple Leafs (78 points) on Thursday blew out the Lightning (77), leapfrogging them and the Islanders (77), who lost to the Jets.
The loss comes a day after the Flyers blanked the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, 4-0, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Meanwhile, the banged-up Devils (26-31-12) halted their dreadful slide.
Both teams meet twice more: April 1 in Philadelphia and April 4 in Newark.
Once the Flyers snared a 1-0 advantage, Kyle Palmieri, Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi all scored for New Jersey to emphatically flip the game.
Palmieri pounced on a puck right off a faceoff and laced a shot past Mason with 1:49 left in the opening period.
The Devils took a 2-1 lead 5:50 into the second frame when Ivan Provorov turned over the puck and Henrique capitalized on a snap shot.
The wheels started falling off when Blandisi deflected a bouncing shot right at Mason's doorstep for a 3-1 advantage.
The Flyers got on the board with three minutes remaining in the first period off some nice puck movement. Claude Giroux made a beautiful move into the circle and backhanded a pass to Jakub Voracek, who hit a streaking Michael Del Zotto for an easy 1-0 advantage.
Del Zotto also tallied an assist, giving him a pair of two-point efforts over his last six games.
After the Devils countered with three goals in succession, Brayden Schenn got one back for the Flyers about midway through the second stanza.
Taylor Hall and Henrique iced the game with third-period markers as things quickly went south for the Flyers. Hall added an empty-netter for good measure near the end of regulation.
Just like the Flyers this season, Mason has not been able to solve New Jersey throughout his career.
It got worse Thursday and ended with injury.
Oddly, the Devils are the only team Mason has never beaten. He entered 0-8-0 with a 3.77 goals-against average and .854 save percentage in 10 lifetime matchups with New Jersey.
Mason did not look particularly quick or sharp prior to exiting. He finished with 19 saves.
Devils backup goalie Keith Kinkaid made 16 stops.
To the Flyers' credit, they created some decent looks on the power play.
Both Wayne Simmonds and Schenn had juicy looks in front during the second period but Kinkaid turned them away.
The Flyers went 0 for 3 and are now 3 for 33 in March.
New Jersey went 1 for 3.
The Flyers allowed a costly goal to Blandisi and killed 2 of 3.
The Devils were perfect.
The last time the Flyers visited the Prudential Center, an all-out fiasco unfolded.
On Thursday, there was a scrum at the final buzzer as the Flyers' frustrations boiled over.
For the Flyers: Forwards Nick Cousins (upper body) and Roman Lyubimov (healthy), and defenseman Brandon Manning (upper body).
Jordan Weal returned to the lineup (see story).
For the Devils: Forwards Michael Cammalleri (upper body), Jacob Josefson (upper body), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body) and Blake Coleman (healthy), and defenseman Steven Santini (healthy).
The Flyers head home to face the Hurricanes on Sunday for a 7 p.m. puck drop. Then it's back to the road for a four-game trip that includes the Jets, Wild, Blue Jackets and Penguins.