Through two periods, the Flyers were seemingly doing everything that would be viewed as a positive this season. The effort was there, they were generating shots, they were playing with structure, and locked in a 1-1 game with the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Less than two minutes into the third period, a miscommunication changed the outlook, allowing the Devils to get ahead and grab the lead and never look back. The Flyers continued to put forth the effort, but fell short in a 3-2 loss to the Devils on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers played a more conservative first period, but still managed 12 shots on goal during the opening 20 minutes. They also prevented the Devils from using the neutral zone to generate speed and held them to just four shots in the first period.
In the second, the Flyers came out with similar energy and got the first five shots of the period over the first six minutes. On the Devils first shot of the second, they were able to find the back of the net.
A defensive breakdown caused the Flyers to lose Miles Wood behind the net. Wood was able to center for Fabian Zetterlund, who buried it to make it a 1-0 game at 6:01 with his fifth of the season.
Less than two minutes later, the Flyers got things evened up on the power play. A quick passing play by Kevin Hayes and Noah Cates got the puck in the slot for Travis Konecny, who fired home his ninth of the season to make it a 1-1 game.
The Flyers out-shot the Devils, 12-8, in the second to take a 24-12 lead through two periods.
It took just 1:49 of the third period for the Devils to get the lead. A miscommunication between Carter Hart and Nick Seeler allowed Dawson Mercer to get the puck with an open net and score, making it a 2-1 game on Mercer’s sixth of the season.
Just over five minutes later, a great individual effort by Jack Hughes made it a 3-1 game. Hughes maintained possession as he pivoted back toward the net at the left circle. He fired a shot that hit Hart in the mask and left a rebound that he able to put home for his 13th goal of the season at 6:56.
The Flyers got back to within a goal with 4:48 remaining in the third. Lukas Sedlak fired a shot from the high slot that beat Akira Schmid to make it a 3-2 game.
Moments later, the Flyers appeared to have the game tied as Joel Farabee put home a rebound, but incidental contact between Morgan Frost and Schmid resulted in a disallowed goal.
The Flyers pulled the goalie, but never found the equalizer in the final seconds, resulting in the 3-2 decision and a 12th loss in the last 13 games.
Hart made 15 saves on 18 shots in the loss. Schmid made 31 saves on 33 shots in the win.
Wood had two assists for the Devils in the win.
The Flyers are back on home ice on Monday night to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m.