Devils 4, Flyers 3: Luke Hughes gets his revenge
Hughes was on the receiving end of a bone-crushing hit in the opening period. He struck back with the overtime winner.
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A few observations following another important inner-division win:
Bend but don’t break
The Devils did not have their A-game – or B-game – in Philadelphia. Heck, it could be argued they didn’t have their C-game.
They spent an abnormally large amount of time on their heels absorbing pressure in the defensive zone. In terms of possession time, I’m not sure any opponent has had the puck so much in a game this season.
Factor in the power play was not as clinical as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing – and several key players were sidelined with injury (Timo Meier, Dougie Hamilton, and Erik Haula) – and it would’ve been easy to envision a loss. That didn’t happen.
The Devils simply took advantage of the opportunities they had on the counter attack and worked their asses off defensively in the meantime.
Yes, the Flyers absolutely generated more than their fair share of chances. But Akira Schmid came up big when called upon – I’ll get to that in a bit – and Devils also took away some second and third chance opportunities with important blocks, stick checks, and determined clearances.
Good teams find ways to win games when they’re missing key players. Good teams find ways to win games when they’re not at their best. Good teams find ways to win games on the road. That’s what the Devils did on Thursday night.
They took the best punches the Flyers could throw at them right on the chin…and still walked away with a much-needed two points.