Martin Brodeur has blanked all types of Flyers teams over two decades.
He never had a shutout against one this bad.
Brodeur was flawless in his 12th career shutout against Philadelphia, and Adam Henrique and Cam Janssen each scored goals to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 win over the Flyers on Thursday night.
”I’ve played the way I feel capable of playing, and I feel comfortable,” Brodeur said. ”I’ve been working hard in practice, knowing I don’t get as many starts as I would like.”
The Flyers beat the Devils 1-0 on Saturday in New Jersey. Henrique’s first-period goal would have been enough to stand in this one. Brodeur was never seriously challenged against the NHL’s weakest offense and posted his 122nd career shutout.
The Flyers have scored two goals in their last four games and have twice been shutout over that span.
The anemic Devils haven’t been much better. They were blanked in their last two games, snapping the scoreless drought on Henrique’s goal only 1:57 into the game. Janssen scored in the third period.
”Obviously the men went seven periods, and I think regardless of what you say, there are seeds planted in the back of your mind,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. ”To get a break early like that, I think it relieved a little bit of pressure. I thought we played a really good road game.”
Jaromir Jagr added an empty-netter with 1.3 seconds left.
Both teams lived up to their billing as the worst offenses in the NHL. The Devils entered next-to-last in the league with 27 goals while the Flyers were at the bottom with 22.
The Flyers fell to a woeful 4-10-1 and held a closed-door team meeting for about 15 minutes.
”I’ve got to get them to play better, that’s my job,” coach Craig Berube said. ”It’s not a hard game. It’s about competitiveness and a will to win and to do all the little things right to win.”
For as punchless as the Flyers offense has been, they were 52.3 seconds away from consecutive 1-0 wins after beating the Devils and holding a late lead against Carolina on Tuesday night. But the Hurricanes tied it in the final minute and won the game in overtime.
The victory did make it another big night at the Wells Fargo Center for New Jersey owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer. They bought the Devils in August, giving them duel ownership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. The rebuilding Sixers stunned Miami and Chicago in the building last week.
The Devils scored first when Eric Gelinas’ shot was deflected from the high slot by Henrique past Ray Emery.
”We did a lot of things that we talked about; trying to get to those dirty areas and get those dirty goals,” Henrique said.
Emery got the start after the 1-0 shutout win over the Devils on Saturday. He stopped 14 shots in the win and 22 on Thursday.
Janssen redirected Adam Larsson’s shot early in the third for the 2-0 lead.
Emery has only one win this season.
”We definitely have the resolve, have the guys in the room that want to get it going and they’re willing to do whatever we have to, to get it going,” he said.
The Flyers’ offense put almost no pressure on Brodeur, taking just six shots in the second period. He scored just his fourth NHL goal in 313 games.
”He thinks he belongs here. Don’t tell him that he doesn’t belong here,” DeBoer said. ”That’s just the attitude that he has, and people feel that. He’s a good kid. He takes care of himself, and he works really hard at the game, because he needs to. It’s all good for him to be here.”
Flyers center Claude Giroux, the team captain, has not scored a goal in 15 games this season. He’s twice scored 25-plus goals and averaged a point-per-game in last year’s lockout-shortened season. He declined to talk to the media and met privately with team chairman Ed Snider.
The Flyers were booed off the ice between each period by a crowd that thins out with each defeat.
”You hear the boos,” Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. ”That just means you’re not doing your job. The fans react to what they see.”
NOTES: Flyers F Steve Downie (concussion) did not play. … Brodeur has 47 wins against the Flyers. … The Flyers have lost seven of nine home games this season. … The Devils won for the second time in 10 road games.