By Tim Panaccio in PhiladelphiaThe Drop
Remember how the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied around James Neal, Arron Asham and Craig Adams in Game 4 of the opening round of the playoffs when they were suspended?
They went out and kicked the Flyers' collective butts, 10-3.
Much in that same vein, the New Jersey Devils repeated the task Tuesday night, overcoming the absence of injured star Ilya Kovalchuk with a captivating performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Devils won 4-1
, pasting the Flyers into their own end with Gorilla glue and not allowing them to see the neutral zone, much less within 50 feet of Devils goalie Marty Brodeur for most of three periods.
It was truly a dominating performance, especially given that Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov had made a 1-0 lead stand for 40 minutes before collapsing.
"They played an unbelievable game," Bryzgalov said. "They played [the] whole 60 minutes and they just [kept] pushing, pushing. For having a long series against Florida and a long season, they looked so fresh.
"We tried but you've got to give full credit to New Jersey Devils. They played unbelievable ... They [played] a tremendous zone. They owned the offensive zone, the neutral zone.
"They were always in front of the net, shooting the puck, they found the rebounds. They were just unreal."
Two Devils were the heroes as David Clarkson and Adam Larsson each scored their first goals of post-season.
Larsson was making his rookie playoff debut on defence because Peter Harrold moved from defense to forward to compensate for Kovalchuk's absence inthe lineup.
"I think that's what teams that are successful do," Clarkson said of picking up for Kovie. "When they have guys out, they find a way to come from behind or for young guys to step up.
"[Stephen] Gionta got to play tonight and did a great job. I think we did a great job. Obviously, we miss him. He's one of the best players in the world, but I thought we did some good things tonight."
In Game 1, New Jersey took the first 11 shots of play. In Game 2, the Devils had the first 12 shots in the second period.
The Flyers almost set a franchise record without getting a shot, yet managed two in the final 90 ticks of the period.
The game was played nearly all in one end of the ice - in front of Bryzgalov, who was outstanding with 31 saves.
"I think, you know what, we were getting chances and it wasn't going in for us," Clarkson said. "Finally, we kept working. We didn't give up. We could have just sat back and said it isn't going to go in, but we didn't give up.
"We kept pushing. We were good in our zone. Our D played great tonight. Larsson to score the goal he did, then [Bryce] Salvador. It's a big boost for this locker room. I thought we did a lot of good things tonight." Rocking chair man
Marty Brodeur had almost no work in the second period. The Devils outshot the Flyers, 12-2. It was boring
Now right behind Brodeur, a fan had a sign imploring the "old man" to retire and it was sitting on a rocking chair.
"In the second, I had so little to do, I felt like sitting in one of those chairs," Brodeur said.
Stat you need to know. Flyers were 0 for 5 on the power play. It was the first time this post-season they didn't score. Looking ahead
The Flyers are just 17-15 in playoff series when tied 1-1after two games, and are 15-17 all-time in Game 3 of those series. DeBoer says
Devils coach Pete DeBoer was proud of how his team performed without Kovalchuk.
"I really thought we would respond like this," he said. "It's not more than I expected. It is what I expected. I knew we'd be better than game 1. I think there were some obvious reasons why we ran out of gas a little in Game 1.
"I knew we'd bounce back and we've dealt with adversity and injuries and things all year and I really felt that we'd have a great game tonight and we did."
Tim Panaccio reports for CSNPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tpanotchCSN.
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