NHL

Devils avoid disaster with Game 2 win

Watch highlights of the Devils' 4-1 win over the Flyers.
Watch highlights of the Devils' 4-1 win over the Flyers.
Hockey Primetime Denis Gorman
Share This Story

   
 

PHILADELPHIA

The look etched on the countenance of Bryce Salvador was not one of relief.

It was the look of a man who recognized his team had received an 11th-hour pardon. And now, instead of certain death, Salvador and the New Jersey Devils have life.

“We’re doing everything we can to buy time so [Ilya Kovalchuk] can come back to the lineup,” Salvador said, a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin creasing his face, after the Devils’ 4-1 win over Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia in Game 2 without their injured sniper.

The Eastern Conference semifinals series is tied 1-1 as the venue shifts to Newark’s Prudential Center for the next two games. Game 3 is Thursday night.

“We responded well,” Zach Parise said afterward.

You could say that. Despite spotting the Flyers a 1-0 lead on Matt Read’s bullet 2:53 into the game, it was the Devils who played as if they had everything to lose.

It is only because they did.

Kovalchuk was not with his teammates. The superstar left wing was 90 miles to the north, receiving care for what's been termed a "lower-body injury."

“We left Ilya Kovalchuk back in New Jersey,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters Tuesday morning. “He will not be in the lineup. The reason is a lower-body injury and that’s all we will say. He is day-to-day.”

The sniper, who has tormented Philadelphia goaltending for 22 goals and 43 points in 45 career regular-season games, could have been a useful component, especially in the second period in which the Devils outshot the Flyers 12-2 but couldn't score. At one point in the second period, the Devils had a 12-0 advantage in shots. New Jersey finished the game with a 35-20 advantage in shots.

“We were getting chances, it wasn’t going in for us. We kept working. We didn’t give up,” winger David Clarkson said. “We didn’t give up. We kept pushing.”

It was Adam Larsson who helped the Devils break through by whipping a shot from the right faceoff dot past Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to tie the score 1-1 at 3:08 in the third. The fourth overall pick in last June’s draft had not played since logging 12:39 of ice time in New Jersey’s 4-2 win over Ottawa in the regular-season finale for both teams. He was in the lineup as Kovalchuk’s replacement.

“I was very glad to get back. I knew if I wanted to stay in the lineup, I had to step it up,” Larsson said.

Despite Read’s early goal, the Devils had dominated. They had kept the go-go-go Flyers pinned in their own end by forechecking and cycling.

NHL Playoff Central

NHL PLAYOFFS

Stay up to date with all the NHL's latest at Playoff Central.

“It was a complete game,” Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (19 saves) said. “I don’t think they were sitting back. I thought we bottled them in. We just kept on going at them. Our ‘D’ really did a good job holding the boards — we know when they really get in trouble they try to go around the boards [and] we took that away from them. We had a lot of pressure and created a lot of stuff.”

Clarkson put the Devils ahead for good with 8:43 remaining by shoving Parise’s through-the-crease pass under Bryzgalov. Two minutes and 44 seconds later, Travis Zajac’s wraparound guaranteed that the Flyers and Devils would return to Newark tied 1-1. Salvador’s empty-netter with 2:51 left was icing on the cake.

“I think we did a great job,” Clarkson said.

And now the Devils have life.

You can follow Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.

Tagged: Devils, Flyers, Bryce Salvador, Ilya Bryzgalov, Ilya Kovalchuk, David Clarkson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

LA mayor at Kings rally: 'This is a big f**king day!' Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Highlights: Rangers/Kings - Game 5 Posted: Jun 14, 2014
Watch highlights of the Kings' 2OT win over the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt