Penalties and sluggish play doom Flyers


After a slow start against Buffalo on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers vowed to not let the same continue to happen against teams beneath them in the standings. On a night in which the Wells Fargo Center was decked out for Halloween, the Flyers joined in on the fun with a 'scary' opening 20 minutes against the rival New Jersey Devils. 

Goaltender Steve Mason (and the goal post) bailed the team out in the first period in which the Devils out-shot the Flyers 13-7 and pinned them deep in their own zone for most of the stanza. The best scoring chance the Orange and Black had against New Jersey netminder Cory Schneider was a on a failed breakaway attempt by Matt Read in which the second-line left winger missed the net completely. 

 The second period seemed to mimic the first until Luke Schenn slipped a shot past Schneider with 4:56 remaining and the Flyers still being out-shot 20-13. The goal was the first of the season for Schenn who has been in and out of the lineup in the early going. 

An interference call on Scott Laughton led to a Devils power play goal as Travis Zajac potted the equalizer with just 1:48 left in the period. The tally was Zajac's third of the season. 

The Flyers closed the gap in the shots department and ended the period with a game total of 19 (5 by Jake Voracek) compared to 23 for their Metropolitan Division rivals. Although both teams got on the board, the overall tally of $1 hot dogs sold seemed to garner more of a reaction than what was happening on the ice. 

Through 40 minutes, defenseman Michael Del Zotto led all Flyers with 17:32 of ice time while Zajac led the Devils with 14:20. Perhaps as no surprise, Vincent Lecavalier only saw 5:31 as the game entered the third period. 

 After failing to convert on a carryover power play to start the final period, the Flyers gave up the go-ahead goal to Kyle Palmieri just 1:28 into the frame. The goal was Palmieri's third of the season. 

 After a  'Too Many Men' penalty, the Flyers' second of the game, Zajac put the Devils up 3-1 with his second PP goal of the game just 1:04 later.  As it turns out, the goal was just icing on the cake as the Flyers couldn't muster up any offense whatsoever in the third. An empty-net goal by Andy Greene would seal the 4-1 victory for the Devils. 

The Devils finished the game out-shooting the Flyers by a total of 33 to 28 . New Jersey went 2/5 on the PP while the Flyers went 0/2. 

The Flyers return to action tomorrow night as they travel to Buffalo to close out the month of October and try to avenge Tuesday's OT loss in Philadelphia. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

 Zach Hopkins is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @healedbyhockey.

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