Flyers Officially Eliminated from Playoff Contention with Loss to Devils
Officially, it's over. Any combination of three points gained by the Boston Bruins and lost by the Flyers would seal their fate for the season, officially eliminating them from playoff contention.
After giving up two power-play goals in the first and two more in the third period, the Flyers playoff hopes are officially gone. A 5-3 loss to the Devils coupled with a 5-2 win by the Bruins eliminated the Flyers on Thursday night.
The Flyers took a penalty just under seven minutes into the first period and the Devils made them pay for it. Yegor Sharangovich scored on a shot from the right circle that leaked through Alex Lyon to make it 1-0 New Jersey at 8:10.
Back on the power play later in the period, the Devils again capitalized as an easy entry and quick passing play allowed Sharangovich to get his second goal of the night at 15:28.
The Flyers managed just three shots in the opening period, trailing in shots at the end of the first, 9-3.
Just over seven minutes into the second period, the Devils were back on the power play, but the Flyers were the team jumping on a chance. Scott Laughton got a breakaway and scored shorthanded, the Flyers first shorthanded tally of the season, to make it 2-1.
Just 1:46 later, the Flyers gave the goal back as Jesper Boqvist hit the post on a rush, then scored on a follow-up play seconds later to make it 3-1.
Just over three minutes later, the Flyers were back on the board. A give-and-go play between Sean Couturier and Justin Braun ended with Couturier tipping in Braun's pass for his 15th goal of the season to make it 3-2 at 12:17.
The Flyers got a late power play in the second, but failed to capitalize. Shots were even, 14-14, through two periods.
The Flyers managed eight shots to the Devils five in the third period, but the Devils got the goal that proved to be the dagger at 13:15. Pavel Zacha made a move around Braun and beat Lyon to make it 4-2.
The Devils added an empty-net goal from Jesper Bratt at 15:53 to seal the result. The Flyers got a late power-play goal from Travis Konecny to make it 5-3.
Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves in the win. Lyon stopped 14 of 18 shots in the loss.
Jake Voracek finished with two assists in the loss. In addition to Sharangovich's two-goal game, Zacha had a goal and an assist. Will Butcher and Damon Severson each had two assists.
The Flyers meet the Devils one more time in this four-game series, facing off on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
- NJ Yegor Sharangovich (13) PP (Will Butcher, Damon Severson) 8:10
- NJ Sharangovich (14) PP (Severson, Janne Kuokkanen) 15:28
- PHI Scott Laughton (8) SH (Unassisted) 7:14
- NJ Jesper Boqvist (3) (Nick Merkley, Mikhail Maltsev) 9:00
- PHI Sean Couturier (15) (Justin Braun, Jake Voracek) 12:17
- NJ Pavel Zacha (13) (Butcher) 13:15
- NJ Jesper Bratt (6) EN (Zacha, Ryan Murray) 15:53
- PHI Travis Konecny (10) PP (Voracek) 18:10
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.