With the teams for the Western Conference Finals already decided (#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings), there’s only the Eastern Conference teams that remain and continue to play to find out which two will move on (giving the Western Conference teams a short break before the next round).
New Jersey Devils 3 vs. Philadelphia Flyers 1, (Devils Win Series 4-1)
The Philadelphia Flyers had the advantage with home-ice last night for Game 5 of the NHL Playoffs 2012 against the New Jersey Devils, but they didn’t take advantage of it even after the Flyers struck first with a goal from clutch forward, Max Talbot.
The goal came at 7:18 of the first period and it could’ve been a momentum shift / game changer for the Flyers; however, they didn’t take advantage of it while New Jersey began to step up their game and dominate for the rest of the matchup starting with a goal from Bryce Salvador 2:09 after the Flyers goal.
Putting a little salt in Philadelphia’s wound was the Devils’ next (and game-winning) goal that came from an error in Flyers goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov‘s, judgment by passing the puck directly toward New Jersey defenseman David Clarkson, which ended up hitting Clarkson’s stick and directed back behind Bryzgalov and in the net (12:45 of the first period)
New Jersey held the lead going into the second period. There were no goals scored in the period despite both the Flyers and the Devils having a total of three, man-advantage opportunities between them.
The Devils scored again early in the third on a power-play goal from Ilya Kovalchuk which ended up taking the majority of wind out of the Flyers’ sails.
This is New Jersey’s first time in the conference finals since 2003, when they won their third Stanley Cup. There’s no question that the Devils deserved to win this game as well as the series. They definitely worked harder and wanted it more (Philadelphia was getting sloppy in their play due to being tired, I believe). New Jersey be one of the teams to beat moving forward in the playoffs and I think I would enjoy seeing New Jersey and New York go head-to-head in the conference finals.
New Jersey’s opponent for the Eastern Conference Finals has yet to be determined, but it will be either the New York Rangers or Washington Capitals. And with New York leading the series 3-2, the decision may be known as soon as this evening.
#1 New York at #7 Washington (New York Leads Series 3-2) at 7:30 PM (EST) on NBCSN
In the West:
- Check out Derek Kessinger‘s page for “Last Night in the West”
Previous Posts (East):
Last Night in the East (April 11)
Last Night in the East (April 16)
Last Night in the East (April 17)
Last Night in the East (April 18)
Last Night in the East (April 19)
Last Night in the East (April 22)
Last Night in the East (April 23)
Last Night in the East (April 24)
Last Night in the East (May 1)
Previous Posts (West):
Last Night in the West (April 11)
Last Night in the West (April 12)
Last Night in the West (April 13)
Last Night in the West (April 14)
Last Night in the West (April 15)
Last Night in the West (April 16)
Last Night in the West (April 17)
Last Night in the West (April 18)
Last Night in the West (April 19)
Last Night in the West (April 20)
This Weekend in the West (April 21-22)
Last Night in the West (April 23)
Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for Rant Sports. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.