NHL Playoffs 2012: 3 Stars from Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils Game 2
Game 2 is in the books, and the New Jersey Devils have evened their series against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-1 defeat in Philly. The series will now head to New Jersey, where both teams will be looking to gain an edge for the rest of the series.
The game was an exciting one, with the Flyers jumping out to an early lead, then desperately trying to hold onto that lead. Eventually, the Devils' offense caught up, finding all four of their goals in the third period.
Here are the three stars from Game 2 between the Flyers and Devils.
3. Ilya Bryzgalov
Ilya Bryzgalov has played some questionable games thus far in the playoffs, but this was not one of them.
Bryz was given the difficult task of defending a one-goal lead for the last 57 minutes of the game, while his team was being badly outshot and, to a lesser extent, outplayed.
He held the lead admirably, blocking all 13 first period shots and all 12 in the second. The second was a veritable firing range, where the Flyers only managed to get two shots in all, both in the closing minutes.
In the third, Bryz was undone, but there were no terrible goals. On the first goal, Adam Larsson was given far too much room to walk in and shoot. The second goal was off a rebound while Bryz was sidetracked, and the third came on a wraparound when Bryz was already committed to the other side of the net.
In all, the Devils put 34 shots on Bryz, and he turned aside 31—far from a perfect performance, but his team did not give him too much to work with.
2. Adam Larsson
With Ilya Kovalchuk's absence from the lineup, Peter Harrold was moved to offense and Adam Larsson was dressed to play defense.
The young Swede made the most of his NHL postseason debut, scoring the Devils' first goal of the game three minutes into the third period. The goal proved crucial, as it was the first puck to beat the to-that-point flawless Ilya Bryzgalov.
In 13:15 of ice time, Larsson also led the game with five hits, while posting a plus-two rating and taking two shots.
1. Dainius Zubrus
Dainius Zubrus didn't manage a goal in Game 2, but he set up two goals and helped changed the momentum in the game.
It was a brilliant drop pass that opened up space for Adam Larsson's goal early in the third, and he also added the secondary assist on Travis Zajac's insurance goal.
He was impressive all around, though. Zubrus earned a plus-two rating while taking three shots, blocking one and adding two hits as well. He also played more than two minutes on the penalty kill (where the Devils went a perfect 5-for-5).
Just as importantly, he won all five of the faceoffs he took, an area where the Devils are as weak as any playoff team. Zubrus' performance was a great example of a player stepping up in the absence of a star—Kovalchuk—and was a huge reason why the Devils were able to even the series.