The New Jersey Devils entered Philadelphia on Thursday night coming off a disappointing loss to the Montreal Canadiens. This is where, not only did they blow a three goal lead, but also lost in a shootout the hands of Ilya Kovalchuk.
The Flyers were supposedly full of positive energy as Nolan Patrick made a return to the ice after being diagnosed with a migraine disorder prior to the start of the season. The team in orange and black are also very good at home as they came into the contest with an 18-4-4 record on home ice. Meanwhile, the Devils had a 11-15-0 record on the road. All of these factors pointed to the fact that it may get ugly for the Devils and their fans.
However, the Devils would win the game by a final score of 5-0 with Mackenzie Blackwood in net contributing a 46-save shutout. This ranked Blackwood second in Devils’ history in terms of most saves in a shutout behind Martin Brodeur’s 51 save performance in 2010.
The scoring started with a goal from Blake Coleman just 13 seconds into the game with assists from Travis Zajac and P.K. Subban. Damon Severson would later score the Devils’ second goal by going end-to-end. A primary assists – the first point of his career – was awarded to Mackenzie Blackwood. Pavel Zacha would score the Devils’ third goal on a shorthanded two-on-one chance with Kevin Rooney who was credited with the assist.
Miles Wood – who would take advantage of a turnover by the Flyers’ defense at the blue line – scored on a breakaway to make it 4-0. The Devils’ fifth and final goal was also scored by Wood thanks to a flashy move that allowed him to ultimately put the puck in the net. Goaltender Alex Lyon – who came in for Brian Elliot after the Devils fourth goal – got to experience the move by Wood.
All of the goals can be seen in the video recap below.
Miles Wood is on a hot streak:
Miles Wood has been producing lately by scoring goals and playing a physical game which has helped generated several chances. Fans may have a love-hate relationship with Wood, but when his game is on he can be a very disruptive force for the offense.
Blackwood is the Devils’ clear starter:
Head coach Alain Nasreddine said that they are trying to manage Blackwood so he does not become overworked. However, Devils’ fans should be excited for the future because they seem to have found their franchise net minder. Tonight was not the first night we saw Blackwood put his name close to Martin Brodeur with a performance, and I do not believe it will be the last either.
Pavel Zacha continues to shine:
With his development both in terms of producing offense and just playing good positional hockey, Zacha has been great as of late. Many believed this would be the year we would see Zacha take a step forward with his game. And that has certainly seems to be the case.
Though the Devils have not been very successful this year, there are a lot of nights where Zacha plays well positionally and in the transition game. He is a big factor in the Devils’ play and current game plan, and should continue to be.
Final Score, Stats, and Highlights
|17 (32.1%)||Faceoffs||36 (67.9%)|
|1 for 3||Power Plays||0 for 4|