Well I have to admit, I did not like the Flyers chances in this game given it was the hated Devils IN New Jersey, it was their home opener, and it was Brodeur's 1000th game. Good thing I was totally wrong. After the first couple of shifts, the Flyers settled down and played a solid game overall.
Devils look sharp to start the game. Flyers having difficulties with the Devils team speed, which is causing turnovers the first 10 minutes of the game. Big 5-3 penalty killing situation off back-to-back penalties to Hartnell and Carter. I like the call on Carter as he clearly was hooking before the play was called dead. So long as the refs call it both ways Im fine with these types of calls. In my opinion, this penalty kill was the key point in the game as the Flyers come up strong and only give up 1 shot. Game changing event as Carter scores 4 minutes later. Emery looks very steady in goal. Nice use of his size and strength as he makes saves that would have been goals on Biron.
Another 5-3 penalty kill, this time from a bad bounce off the boards which forces Emery to play the puck outside the trapezoid. I liked seeing Pronger come out of the penalty box and clear out the front of the net. He didnt care where the puck was and just moved bodies out of the way! Brodeur looks a little shaky in goal as he gives up two goals that he almost never lets in. Laperriere scores through the right arm and body while Richards scores off a weird re-direction off Salvadors stick. What I liked about the Richards goal is it came as a result of hard work and puck pursuit that was scored on tired Devil players who couldnt get a change. In addition, once the Flyers are up 3-0, they arent sitting back and continue to attack. Nice change of pace from previous Flyer teams. Emery great again in net, especially on the diving save on Pandolfo.
Quiet start to the period, but then there is a rash of scoring as both clubs exchange goals and score four in 6 minutes. Powe gets a goal after effective cycling and puck pursuit from his line. JVR takes a too-many-men penalty as the eager rookie plays the puck before Hartnell gets off the ice. Rolston scores on the ensuing PP, the first goal scored against Emery this year. Carle gets on the board after the Devils defense allows him to skate right in on Brodeur. Couple of "bronx jeers" heard after a few routine Marty saves. Never thought I would hear that! Langenbrunner gets a SH goal as defensive zone coverage breaks down as Timonen goes towards the puck and allows Jaime to get in behind him. Flyers look really bad on the 4-min PP but at least they are comfortably in charge.
Best Flyer of the game goes to Razor as he looks to be in mid-season form already. Great positionally, calm, confident, etc. Really hoping this is a sign of more to come
Worst Flyer of the game goes to no one. I know its a wimpy way out, but the whole team player solid. Couple breakdowns and mistakes, but no one stood out as "the worse" player.
Best Opponent of the game is another hard one to pick. I thought the Flyers did a great job on the Parise line and he was quiet all night. However, given he burst the shutout streak, Brian Rolston wins. Nice laser half slap shot on the goal.