Facing the prospect of going down three games to none, the New Jersey Devils came out on Monday night and took a game they surely had to win to have any hope of repeating as Stanley Cup champion. Scott Gomez and Patrick Elias paced the Devils on to victory, Gomez with three assists and Elias with two goals on the way to the 4-2 win over a Philadelphia Flyer team that gave up the lead twice in game three.
Martin Brodeur faced 25 shots only letting shots by Jeremy Roenick in the first and Tony Amonte in the second get by him. Both Flyer goals came on the power play. The Devils took advantage of the man advantage as well scoring three of their four goals on Robert Esche on the power play. Esche had 23 shots directed his way by the time the final whistle went at the Meadowlands.
Martin Brodeur put the win into perspective for his Devil teammates at the end of the game. “We’re back in it now”, “Those guys were flying high and hopefully we put a little doubt in their minds.” And that may be the advantage the Devils bring to game four, the Flyers have a history of not being able to put away a team when the time to do it is there.
With the Devils getting back into things with the win tonight, game four will become all important. Should the Devils win on Wednesday they will make the momentum swing to their side. On the other side of that idea, if the Flyers bounce back and take a win from the Devils a 3-1 deficit may be too much for them to come back from.
More than ever, the Flyers need to put the Devils away, a win on Wednesday will go a long way to answering the critics. A loss and the critics will have to make room for the casual fan suddenly fearful of where their Flyers are going.