It’s getting close to panic time for Pat Burn’s and his New Jersey Devils, as they fall behind 2 games to none to the Philadelphia Flyers. The latest game once again featuring a rather ordinary looking Martin Brodeur who faced only 18 shots yet gave up three goals, as Philadelphia outplayed the Devils to win 3-2. New Jersey was unable to take advantage of two power play opportunities in the first ten minutes of the game, giving the Flyers a great confidence boost for the rest of the game.
Philadelphia scored goals in all three periods, Mark Recchi getting his marker in the first, Alexei Zhamnov in the second and Mattias Timander in the third. New Jersey countered with goals from Jan Hrdina and Brian Gionta but after Gionta’s goal the Flyers shut things down for the night. Heavy hits, close checking and good puck control all contributed to salting away win number two, in the best of seven Eastern quarterfinal.
Robert Esche continued to win his fans back in Philadelphia with a pretty good effort in the Philly nets. New Jersey took 26 shots on him, outplaying the current Vezina trophy winner for the second game in a row.
Things move back to the Swamplands for Monday night’s all important Game Number three. Ken Hitchcock will be preaching that his Flyers keep up the pressure at the Meadowlands. A win on Monday would put his team in the driver’s seat and put the pressure squarely on the Devils coaching staff.
Tensions were getting a little testy by the end of the game, with a few of the many scrums breaking out into shoving and punching sessions. In what may be a preview of the Devils approach on Monday night, Robert Esche found that he was the center of attention for the last half of the third period. The Devils sending him a message, that he won’t be a lonely guy in game number three.