Devils second-period onslaught sinks Flyers
NEWARK, N.J. - Even with several regulars given the night off, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette couldn't have envisioned such a sluggish effort less than a week before Wednesday's regular-season opener against Toronto.
After a competitive and scoreless first period, the Flyers allowed three second-period goals in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
"We are in a training camp and evaluation period, and it is a process for guys to put their cards on the table, and I was disappointed in that tonight," Laviolette said.
The Devils scored close-in goals in a span of 1 minute, 7 seconds by Damien Brunner and Steve Bernier. Dainius Zubrus later scored on a deflection to make it 3-0 with 5 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the second period. Through two periods, the Devils outshot the Flyers, 18-9.
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What Laviolette wasn't disappointed with was the play of goalie Steve Mason, who is in a battle with Ray Emery for the No. 1 spot.
"I thought he played terrific," Laviolette said. "It was a tough situation for him to be in, but what I really liked about him was when we were not having a lot of composure with the puck and things were turning over and the attempts were coming at him, he stayed in it, and, mentally, he was sharp throughout the whole game, right until the end."
Mason felt the same way.
"I was pretty happy with tonight," he said. "I felt real patient, and they had some real quality chances, and for the most part I felt good about it."
The Flyers are 1-4-1 entering Friday's final dress rehearsal in Washington, where a regular lineup is expected.
Among the veterans who sat out against the Devils were defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, and Mark Streit, and forwards Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. But there were still plenty of expected contributors on the ice.
"I think we simply got outworked tonight," said Matt Read, who scored on a shorthanded breakaway with 8:51 left to make it 3-1 before the Devils finished matters with an empty-netter. "You can't make excuses. It doesn't matter who is in the lineup."
Defenseman Sam Morin, the Flyers' No. 1 draft pick in June, will miss about two weeks because of a hand injury suffered in his last junior game. . . . There was a moment of silence before the game for Denis Brodeur Sr., 82, the father of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who died Thursday. He was a successful sports photographer in Canada. . . . The Flyers have 12 preseason goals, by 12 players.