- Adam Henrique scored on a deflection off of a blast from the point by Eric Gelinas in the first period. This was the team’s first goal in six periods of hockey.
- Travis Zajac’s return was a big plus for a team in need of some offense and help on the forecheck. Peter Harrold and Anton Volchenkov also returned to have a positive impact on the game.
- Cam Janssen used his hands for something other than fighting, as he registered his first goal since March 2011, and his second ever goal as a New Jersey Devil.
- Martin Brodeur recorded the 22 save shutout, extending his NHL record to 122 over his career and his 12th against the Flyers.
The Devils have been hurting recently, following up two big wins against Boston and Tampa with two debilitating, shut-out losses to the Flyers and the Wild. What little swagger New Jersey gained was ripped away as injuries to key starters, including top two forwards Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac, left the team snake-bit and unable to manufacture goals for over 151 minutes. Maybe it’s a little too dramatic to call the 15th game of the season a must-win, but it’s hard to deny that the team's confidence moving forward hung on the outcome of the game in Philadelphia.
New Jersey didn't disappoint, as the red and black put together strong efforts at both ends of the ice. The Devils took the game to Philly by out-working and out-hustling their rivals for 60 straight minutes. Despite being out-hit 30 - 22, it seemed like New Jersey played the better physical game winning the battles in the corners and along the boards.
Their penalty kill was dominant, their forecheck was overwhelming and their overall defensive effort was as impressive as it's been this season, from both the forwards and the D-Men. Andy Greene and Travis Zajac really stood-out as the workhorses of New Jersey's defensive effort accounting for the most minutes on the ice at their respective positions. The strong defense never allowed the Flyers to get a their game going. The Devils held the Philadelphia power play to an 0 - 3 night. Returning defensemen Anton Volchenkov and Peter Harrold also deserve credit for logging some important minutes and playing a big part in the Devils' gritty win.
Offensively, there was more in this game to be excited about than the scoresheet might lead you to believe. In a night that was all about hustle and pressure, the Devils' offense did their part and got some contributions from some very, very unlikely sources. Mattias Tedenby and Andrei Loktionov created some wonderful chances, and defensemen Eric Gelinas and Adam Larsson continue to prove why they're near the top of a very promising young group of blue-line threats.
The team showed a greater commitment to driving the net, and it paid-off in spades as New Jersey netted two deflection goals up high on Ray Emery. Adam Henrique netted the first one for his fifth of the season and Cam Janssen was elated to nab the second off of a shot from Larsson and a great tandem effort from Janssen himself and Ryan Carter. After being brought up for this game to the dismay of many who wanted to hear that a goal-scorer was coming into the lineup, it was a great to see the look of joy on the face of New Jersey's enforcer as Cam lit that lamp. Then, to cap off a solid offensive night for Jersey's team, Jaromir Jagr recorded the empty-netter. A nice reward for a man who was once again, arguably, New Jersey's top forward.
It wasn't a perfect effort. It would have been nice to see the Devils throw a few more shots at Emery, and maybe take advantage of one of their three power plays, but really that's just nit-picking. Tonight was a good game offensively, especially for a team that is still without Patrik Elias and Ryan Clowe.
Of course this night wouldn't be complete without discussing the play of no.30. It was a big night for Martin Brodeur, as he recorded his 122nd career shutout, and his 12th against the Flyers. To be fair, a combination of solid D and a struggling Flyer lineup meant that this wasn't Brodeur's toughest test. But, when the team needed him, Marty stepped up, made some big saves, and stopped all 22 tries by his opponents. Tonight, Marty wasn't just better, he was perfect.