Recap: Devils 5, Flyers 2
Devils 5, Flyers 2: Adam Henrique collected two goals and an assist and Johan Hedberg turned aside 23 shots as New Jersey breezed to victory in the opener of its home-and-home set with visiting Philadelphia.
Andrei Loktionov and Patrik Elias scored and set up a goal and Ilya Kovalchuk added a short-handed goal for the Devils, who have won three of four following a six-game winless skid (0-5-1).
Jakub Voracek recorded his 10th goal in 11 contests in the first period and set up Scott Hartnell late in the third. Ilya Bryzgalov finished with 27 saves after telling reporters on Wednesday that the Flyers could not afford to be swept in this series. "You lose both games, (you're) done," he said. "(You're) done. That's it."
Henrique gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead just 36 seconds after Voracek forged a tie midway through the first period. Henrique's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle caromed off Matt Read as the latter was backchecking near his own net.
Read also played a role in the Devils' third goal as the puck bounced over his stick in the offensive end. Kovalchuk raced up the right wing before unleashing a shot over Bryzgalov's glove on the short side.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Henrique sailed a backhander under the crossbar to give New Jersey a 5-1 lead at the 1:16 mark of the third period. The five goals matched a season high for the Devils, who posted a 5-3 victory over Philadelphia on Feb. 15. ... The Flyers, who have dropped four of their last five games, will look to salvage a split when they host their Atlantic Division rivals on Friday. ... Elias has recorded 80 points (35 goals, 45 assists) in 79 career contests versus Philadelphia.
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