Courtesy Twitter: @NJDevils

Devils look to take advantage of struggling Flyers in important rivalry game.

The New Jersey Devils aren’t particularly close to a playoff spot, especially in such a competitive division, but they’ve been playing better hockey as of late.

They head into Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with some confidence after coming up with a big overtime win on Sunday against an impressive Pittsburgh Penguins team.

Head coach Lindy Ruff made no changes to the lineup.

1st period: We’re impressed

The Devils were the more dominant team in the first and came out stronger. They deserved to have the lead heading into the second, and that’s what happened.

Michael McLeod scored the first goal of the game, which was assisted by rookie defenseman Ty Smith and winger Andreas Johnsson. It was nice to see the three of these guys get points, they needed and deserved it.

The Devils’ penalty kill, however, was up to its old tricks and conceded a goal while short-handed.

At least the special teams wasn’t completely useless in the first: Kyle Palmieri put the team back in the lead with a power play goal. It’s nice to see him get back to his goal-scoring ways, especially on the power play.


2nd period: Shots and goals galore

This period couldn’t have gone much better for New Jersey. They outshot Philadelphia once again and scored two unanswered goals. Several players doubled up on points here.

Rookie Yegor Sharangovich and veteran Travis Zajac recorded a goal and an assist each and both Smith and Janne Kuokkanen got their second assists of the game.

This game has both the veterans and youngsters on full display, something that needs to happen if the Devils hope to keep winning in this game and others in the future.


3rd period: How I Almost Blew It

The third period wasn’t particularly good for the Devils, who were outshot 16-7 and outscored 2-0.

It was great that the Devils had been so dominant and scored four in the first two periods or they would’ve found themselves in even more serious trouble in the the third.

The Devils have rebounded lately and did what they had to do in this game by taking advantage of a tired, struggling Flyers team.

They now have a winning streak going and will look to extend it on Thursday against one of the best teams in the league, the Washington Capitals.


Key Moment: Palmieri’s PPG

The key moment of the game was Palmieri’s power play goal. This goal broke the tie and put the Devils back in the lead after the Flyers had tied it up 1-1.

Both Palmieri and Kuokkanen got points on this goal, and that represented their good play of late. It was also nice to see the Devils score on the power play, which hasn’t been great this season, but has been improving lately.


Player of the game: Ty Smith

Smith had an all-around great game and was the Devils’ best player. The young defenseman has emerged as one of the best rookies in the league and is proving to be a core piece that the Devils should build around.

Smith’s numbers: 19:16 TOI, 2 A, 78.79 CF%, 0.04 iXG, 1.12 xGF%, 0.08 xGA%, 3.18 GF, 0 GA, 4.63 Game Score, 1.48 defensive rating, 2.03 offensive rating, and 1.42 individual rating.

Stats are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Stat Cards.


Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.