Flyers Blow Late Lead, Lose in Shootout to Devils


(Kate Frese/SB Nation)

After bad news about Brian Elliott, the Philadelphia Flyers blew a late third period lead to the New Jersey Devils in a 5-4 shootout loss.

By Dan Heaning, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The bad news came in twos on Tuesday night. Just a few hours after learning that starting goaltender Brian Elliott would be lost for five to six weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers blew a late third period lead in a critical home game to the New Jersey Devils, 5-4.

With under 90 seconds left in the third period, the Flyers had a defensive zone draw while trying to protect a 4-3 lead. With Keith Kinkaid pulled, Taylor Hall was able to knock home a game-tying goal and extend the game.

Philadelphia had a grand opportunity to win the game in the overtime, but Jake Voracek's redirect of a Claude Giroux pass was stopped by spawling Kinkaid.

The save allowed the game to go into the shootout where Kinkaid stopped Jordan Weal, Travis Konecny and Voracek. On the other end, Drew Stafford scored on Neuvirth to give the Devils the shootout victory.

The Flyers easily could have won this game with contributions from their top players like Giroux and Konecny but also from depth scorers and blueliners like Scott Laughton and Radko Gudas.

Giroux put the Flyers up 4-3 late in the second period on the power play. Giroux fired a shot between the goal line and the circle while from the boards. The shot deflected off a New Jersey defender and beat Keith Kinkaid.

Immediately afterward, Nico Hischier closed the gap to a one-goal lead as he and Jesper Bratt found themselves on a two-on-one.

In the middle of the second periods, Gudas and John Moore traded point blast goals. Gudas was fed by Jori Lehtera and Dale Weise for his tally that put the Flyers up 3-1. While Moore closed the gap to 3-2 with his goal.

Laughton put the Flyers up 2-1 slightly over 40 seconds after Taylor Hall tied the game at one. Laughton knuckled the puck past Kinkaid after a great feed by Michael Raffl.

In one of the more bizarre plays of the game, Hall fired a low percentage shot past Michal Neuvirth slightly over four minutes into the period. However, the goal was overshadowed by a hit that Gudas threw on Hall as the goal was scored. Hall gingerly returned to his skates and the goal was reviewed but was upheld.

Of all the goals scored on Neuvirth in this game, this is the one he needed to have. With the news about Elliott sidelined for almost all of the regular season, such a soft goal may shake the confidence of the Flyers upper brass and force a move by general manager Ron Hextall.

Konecny opened the scoring in the first period when Giroux found the speedy winger with a long pass to set him up for a solo rush. Konecny's shot beat Kinkaid to give the Flyers an early lead.

The win puts Philadelphia five points ahead of New Jersey in the divisional playoff race and allows them to keep pace with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals for the two higher seeds.

The Flyers will return on Friday night for another critical division game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 from Nationwide Arena. The game will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia with 97.5 The Fanatic covering the radio broadcast. It will also be NHL.TV's free game for the evening.

Box Score

  1 2 3 OT SO T
Devils 0 3 0 0 1 3
Flyers 1 3 0 0 0 4

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • PHI -  Travis Konecny (14, 1:54) from Claude Giroux (47) and Shayne Gostisbehere (33)

2nd Period

  • NJD – Taylor Hall (22, 04:06) from Sami Vatanen (22)
  • PHI - Scott Laughton (9, 4:49) from Michael Raffl (8) and Andrew MacDonald (9)
  • PHI - Radko Gudas (9, 10:36) from Jori Lehtera (4) and Dale Weise (3)
  • NJD – John Moore (7, 13:17) from Travis Zajac (4) and Jesper Bratt (20)
  • PHI - Claude Giroux (19, 15:59) from Jake Voracek (54) and Shayne Gostisbehere (34)
  • NJD – Nico Hischier (10, 16:09) from Jesper Bratt (21)

3rd Period

  • NJD – Taylor Hall (23, 18:39) unassisted


  • No scoring


  • NJD – Drew Stafford

Game Statistics

  Flyers Devils
Shots 35 36
Power Plays 1/5 0/3
Hits 26 25
Faceoff % 52% 48%
Giveaways 14 7
Takeaways 9 9
Blocked Shots 14 13
Penalty Minutes 8 12
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