The New Jersey Devils got their first win of April on Thursday in a 3-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers. Martin Brodeur was in net for the Devils and got his second shutout of the season to hold off elimination for another day.
The Devils are currently six points back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with five games left to play. Two of their final five games are against the New York Rangers, who are clinging to the final playoff spot.
The Devils will need to win out and receive some help from other teams if they hope to sneak into the playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres are also looking to make a move on the Rangers in the final week. It should make for a wild finish in the Eastern Conference as all four teams are within six points of eighth place.
Martin Brodeur made things easy for his team on Thursday as he went on to make 23 saves for his 11th win of the season. Brodeur now has 121 career shutouts for the most all-time in the NHL.
Ryan Carter opened up the scoring for the Devils just over five minutes into the second period. Carter scored after a turnover in the neutral zone that led to a two-on-one break with Brian Gionta.
Gionta hit Carter with a pass as they crossed the blue line and Carter beat Flyers’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov to the blocker-side. Midway through the second, the Flyers’ Jakub Voracek got a rebound off a shot from the point that hit off his skate and went in the net past Brodeur.
After review, the goal was called off and the Devils lead remained 1-0. The Devils’ lead would stay at one until late in the third period.
Matt D’Agostini caught a break and beat Bryzgalov to the short-side to give the Devils a 2-0 lead with five minutes remaining in the contest. The Flyers failed to respond and Adam Henrique finished them off with an empty net goal in the final minutes.
Carter’s goal in the first would end up being the game-winner as the Devils snapped a 10-game winless streak. Is the gap between the New Jersey Devils and eighth place too much to make-up in the final five games, or can Martin Brodeur and company find a way to return to the playoffs in 2013?
[Image via James Teterenko]