Flyers Sweep Devils In Home-And-Home
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — James van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere each scored, and Brian Boucher stopped 34 shots to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
The NHL-worst Devils lost a day after trading captain Jamie Langenbrunner to Dallas. New Jersey lost its 11th straight road game, one away from tying the team record set in 1983.
Martin Brodeur was benched for the third straight game but replaced an ineffective Johan Hedberg in the first period. Hedberg allowed two quick goals and was yanked.
The win sends Flyers coach Peter Laviolette to the All-Star game as co-coach of one of the teams. Joel Quenneville, coach of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, will coach one team. Laviolette and a Western Conference coach will share duties with the other team.
The Flyers have 26 wins and 57 points through 41 games and are determined to win the Stanley Cup that eluded them in the finals last season.
Boucher, who started last year’s postseason run as the No. 1 goalie before he was hurt, stopped 34 shots. He won his 10th game of the season and has combined with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, the surprise opening night starter, to give the Flyers some needed consistency in net.
Boucher’s lone goal allowed wasn’t totally his fault. Devils defenseman Andy Greene’s shot deflected off Flyers defenseman Ville Leino’s skate and soared over Boucher’s right shoulder to make it 2-1 midway through the second. He stopped and smothered Dainius Zubrus’ hard-charging breakaway with 15 seconds left to settle some nerves.
Boucher was perfect after the second — nearly as flawless as Brodeur in his return.
Brodeur, the NHL’s career wins leader, has only five this season and was demoted to Hedberg’s backup for the last two games. His spot on the bench for the third straight game didn’t last long.
On a 4-on-4 shift, Van Riemsdyk beat Hedberg from the left circle for his 10th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Briere, making a strong case to be named to the All-Star team with 21 goals, scored a power-play goal with 5:19 left in the first to make it 2-0 and send Hedberg to the bench.
Hedberg allowed two goals on 10 shots. Brodeur settled the situation, stopping all eight shots in the second period. But it was too late already for the punchless Devils.
The lost season made them eager to deal Langenbrunner, who played on the Devils’ Stanley Cup-winning team in 2003.
More changes are likely ahead for the Devils, who haven’t won a road game since Nov. 3 in Chicago.
The Flyers played their first home game since Dec. 20 in front of a quiet crowd that made it through another snowstorm to get to the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers couldn’t get too cozy at home — they start a four-game road trip Tuesday.
NOTES: The Flyers hit 26 wins at the midpoint of the season for the seventh time in team history. They last did it in 2005-06. … The Devils lost 12 straight road games Oct. 19-Dec. 1, 1983.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)