Flyers-Devils: Game 5 recap

Posted: May 10, 2012

Score: Devils 3, Flyers 1

What happened: The Devils' winning goal - off the stick of Ilya Bryzgalov onto the grateful stick of David Clarkson - was one of the worst goals allowed in Stanley Cup history. Bryz, who isn't exactly Ron Hextall with the stick, was shaky handling the puck all series, so what happened was entirely a shock. The correct and simple play was to push the puck behind the net, not try to maneuver it past a charging Devils forward.

What it means: The Flyers' season is over. It has been over for a few days, really; this made it official. This clearly was a transitional, build-for-the-future season for the Flyers, with all the rookies in the lineup and Chris Pronger injured. The season felt like a success after beating the Penguins in the first round. That successful feeling evaporated after the Flyers lost to the dominant Devils in five games. Going into the series, the Flyers felt they were the better team. Today, and for most of the summer, they shouldn't feel that way.

About Bryz: Beyond the ridiculous Clarkson goal, Bryz played decently. He wasn't Cup-winning great, but he was acceptable. When the Devils' forecheckers were wearing down the heavy-legged and bruised Flyers defense, Bryz kept them in games.

Dreaded first goal: The Flyers' Max Talbot went and did it again, scoring first. Boys, boys, boys. The Flyers were 1-6 scoring the first goal this playoff year and the team that scored first in Flyers games was 1-10. Astounding, truly. Might not ever happen again.

Desperation: It is hockey gospel - desperate teams win. The Devils, game after game, looked like the more desperate team. It's hard to measure desperate but the Flyers didn't show much of it in Game 5. They had more offensive push than the two games in Jersey, but couldn't topple 40-year-old Marty Brodeur.

No power play: The Flyers were 3-for-19 on the power play in the series, 0-for-1 on Tuesday, not even registering a shot. They scored at a better than 50 percent clip against the Penguins on the power play. These Devils were no Penguins. The Flyers weren't the same, either.

THREE STARS

1. MARTY BRODEUR, Devils: The 40-year-old goalie was solid and didn't have to be spectacular in both Game 5 and the series. He made 23 saves in Game 5 and didn't make allow any cheap goals.

2. ILYA KOVALCHUK, Devils: Scored just 4 seconds into a third-period power play to give Devils a back-breaking 3-1 lead. He had an assist and led Jersey in shots along with Zach Parise.

3. BRYCE SALVADOR, Devils: He scored zero goals during the regular season. He scored two goals vs. the Flyers in playoffs, including the tying goal in the first period.

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