PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made one big save after another until a rookie playing his first playoff game put one in.
That got the New Jersey Devils going.
David Clarkson followed by scoring the tiebreaking goal with 8:43 left and the Devils rallied to beat the Flyers 4-1 in Game 2 Tuesday night, evening their Eastern Conference semifinals series at one game apiece.
Game 3 is Thursday night in New Jersey.
Devils rookie Adam Larsson scored the tying goal early in the third period in his playoff debut, and New Jersey found a way to solve Bryzgalov, who was brilliant in the first two periods.
"I was actually pretty surprised because I don't score that much," Larsson said of his goal.
Travis Zajac scored an insurance goal, and Bryce Salvador put one into an empty net.
Martin Brodeur made 19 saves for his 104th career playoff victory. He had been winless in his last 11 starts at the Wells Fargo Center.
Matt Read had the only goal for the Flyers.
"We have to have more desperation if we want to get back to winning games," said Flyers forward Danny Briere, the Game 1 star.
Coming off a 4-3 overtime win over the Devils in the opener on Sunday, the Flyers were hoping to take a commanding 2-0 lead. They're 18-0 when they're two games up, but the Devils made sure it didn't happen.
"We knew, if we lost tonight, it wasn't going to look good for us," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "I'm not surprised to see us play the way we did."
Bryzgalov, who struggled for most of the first-round series against the Penguins, had his best two periods of the playoffs Tuesday. He made 25 saves and single-handedly kept the Flyers ahead despite the Devils controlling play in the first two periods.
But New Jersey finally broke through in the third period. Larsson, in the lineup because of an injury to Ilya Kovalchuk, beat Bryzgalov high to the glove side on a wicked slap shot from the right faceoff circle.
"We played a patient game," Brodeur said. "Bryz was unbelievable in the second period. We were throwing the puck at him hoping to get one through and we finally did in the third."
Clarkson made it 2-1, jamming in a rebound off a shot by Zach Parise during a scramble in front. Clarkson ended up on top of the net, which came off its moorings.
"That was my Superman," Clarkson joked about his dive on the net.
Zajac scored on a backhander from behind the net with 5:59 to go.
"With Kovy being out, being a big part of our team, internally without anybody needing to say anything, we knew we all had to be better," Parise said.
Kovalchuk, the Devils' leading scorer in the regular season, sat out because of a lower body injury.
Bryzgalov was the story until the final period. He made three straight saves in a sequence halfway through the second, stopping a point-blank shot by Adam Henrique in front and two ensuing rebounds. He stoned Henrique again a few minutes later, earning a standing ovation from a sellout crowd decked mostly in orange shirts.
While Bryzgalov was peppered with shots, Brodeur didn't face one in the second period until 90 seconds remained.
The Flyers jumped ahead 1-0 just 2:53 in when Read fired a slap shot from the right side past an out-of-position Brodeur. Read led all rookies with 24 goals in the regular season. He has three in eight playoff games.
It was quite a different start than Game 1 when the Flyers didn't even register a shot in the first 10 minutes.
Notes: The Flyers are 17-15 when tied 1-1 after two games. They are only 8-22 when they lose Game 2. ... Bryzgalov fell to 4-1 against the Devils this season, including two shutouts in the regular season. ... Brodeur improved to 11-14 in his playoff career vs. Philadelphia. ... Flyers star forward Claude Giroux has one point in the first two games. ... Salvador's goal was his first in 100 games. ... The Devils set a franchise record with four goals in one period in a road playoff game. . . The Flyers eliminated heavily favored Pittsburgh in six games to advance. . . . Sixth-seeded New Jersey rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to beat Florida in seven games in Round 1.
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
|Best of Yardbarker||NFL News||MLB News||NBA News||NHL News|
Today's Best Stuff