Flyers Fall in Prudential Center Debut
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:13 AM
Kevin Kurz - philadelphiaflyers.comPhiladelphia ends road trip at 3-5
(Newark, NJ) – At the end of their longest road trip of the season, the Philadelphia Flyers lost their first-ever game at the Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils, 4-1.
Philadelphia completed its season-long eight-game road swing with a 3-5-0 record. The Flyers, who are 4-0 at home, have played 11 of their first 15 games away from the Wachovia Center. A four-game homestand begins Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).
“Ideally you want to come out of any road trip .500 or better,” said Flyers coach John Stevens after the game. “I thought we won the games we deserved to win and lost the games we deserved to lose. We just have to come back home and get some rest and get back to work.”
The team will quickly try to put this game behind them, as the Devils controlled play for much of the contest.
“We just looked like a tired hockey team, right from the drop of the puck,” said Stevens. “We tired to guard against it and knew it was going to be a hard game and New Jersey would come out flying, but it just seemed like we were a step behind all night.”
New Jersey had not played since a 5-0 blanking at the hands of the Penguins on Monday, while the Flyers were in Pittsburgh the night before and won 3-1.
The Devils fell behind in the first period, but quickly responded.
A couple of goals just 18 seconds apart put New Jersey ahead for good. Brian Gionta swiped in a point shot that was deflected before reaching the net at 14:28 of the first period.
Dainius Zubrus scored his first goal of the game 18 seconds later putting a rebound past Martin Biron, and then gave New Jersey a 3-1 lead at the intermission when his shot from the circle bounced off of Biron’s shoulder and over the line with just 29 seconds remaining.
Rod Pelley’s backhander that should have been handled by Biron at 2:48 of the second period resulted in Antero Niittymaki entering the game for Philadelphia. Biron surrendered four goals on 14 Devils shots, while Niittymaki stopped all 25 shots he faced.
“For me, it just seemed like I wasn’t going to right way when I was touching the puck,” said Biron. “It just wasn’t there.”
Martin Brodeur picked up the win for New Jersey, needing to make just 13 saves on the night.
The Flyers were without two key forwards, as Simon Gagne and Sami Kapanen missed the game. Gagne was not feeling well in the afternoon, possibly from being hit by Pittsburgh’s Gary Roberts on Wednesday night. Kapanen was out with a sprained right knee.
“After the game in Pittsburgh I felt that something was not going right. I thought maybe it was just the fatigue of the game,” said Gagne. “I had a good night of sleep. I woke up this morning still feeling that something was not right. I went back to sleep another couple of hours before the game and when I woke up to go to the game I was experiencing that dizziness feeling again.”
Gagne recently missed four games with dizziness after being hit by Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester on October 24.
Philadelphia opened the scoring with a power play goal. A point shot by Mike Richards
deflected in off of the toe of Mike Knuble at 12:20 for his fourth goal of the season. Three of those have come with the man advantage.
It was the Flyers’ first loss after scoring the first goal of the game (7-1-0).
The Flyers play seven of their next 10 games at home. … Defenseman Kimmo Timonen
was wearing the “A” as alternate captain with Gagne out of the lineup. … The Flyers lost their ninth straight road game to the Devils.
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