Wood scores twice to help Devils beat struggling Flyers 4-1 (Jan 21, 2017)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Miles Wood put on a show against his favorite player.
Wood scored twice, Keith Kinkaid stopped 35 shots and the New Jersey Devils beat the slumping Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Saturday night.
Wood wore Claude Giroux's No. 28 in prep school and college. The star Flyers center went without a point while the Devils rookie recorded the first multigoal game of his career.
''That's why I play,'' he said. ''It's always fun to be in these types of games.''
Wood also was involved in a first-period fight with Wayne Simmonds in the typically physical game between the rivals.
Kyle Palmieri and Pavel Zacha also scored and Michael Cammalleri had two assists for the Devils, who have won four of five.
''We were engaged in the game tonight,'' Devils coach John Hynes said.
Travis Konecny had a goal for Philadelphia, which has lost 12 of 15 since ending a 10-game winning streak in December. The Flyers played for the first time since a 5-0 loss at Washington on Sunday following their NHL-mandated bye week.
''If we want to rest on confidence sagging, that's the wrong answer,'' Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. ''Our answer is pull together, dig in and get back to work.''
Kinkaid played his second game in two days in place of ill starter Cory Schneider.
The game turned on a second-period penalty on the Flyers that even Wood questioned.
Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas was called for the initial penalty for clipping Wood, drawing loud boos from Philadelphia fans and protests from the Flyers. Simmonds argued vehemently with the referee, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to give the Devils a two-man advantage.
Palmieri made them pay with his 11th goal of the season, a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat Michal Neuvirth with 4:09 left in the second period that put the Devils ahead 2-1.
Other than the referee, nobody seemed to think it was a penalty.
''He caught me good,'' Wood said. ''I don't think it should have been a call.''
Said Gudas, ''I'm not sure what the call was there.''
The backbreaker for the Flyers was Simmonds' follow-up penalty.
''That's a momentum changer,'' he said. ''Take all the blame for that.''
Said Hakstol: ''I understand the emotion in that situation, yet we have to learn from it and know we have to skate away from that situation''
The Devils took a two-goal lead with 47.1 seconds left in the period when Wood blew by the Flyers defense, got in alone on Neuvirth and snapped a quick wrist shot past the goalie's blocker side after Philadelphia was caught making a poor line change.
Hakstol lifted Neuvirth after the second period for precautionary reasons after an apparent injury, marking the third goalie change in four games for Philadelphia. Neuvirth made 22 saves.
Steve Mason allowed a goal on the second shot he faced when Wood notched his second of the contest. It was the rookie's first two-goal game of his career.
New Jersey got on the board first on Zacha's backhander high over Neuvirth's glove from right in front with 12:49 left in the first period.
Konecny poked home a rebound 3 1/2 minutes later to tie it at 1.
The game was physical, which is typical for the rivals. After combining for two fights, three game misconducts and 82 penalty minutes in the first meeting of the season, New Jersey's 4-0 win on Dec. 22, Saturday's contest featured plenty of rough play.
Wood didn't get off a punch in his fight with Simmonds late in the first period after the Devils forward delivered a crushing check to Gudas. The Devils took umbrage to checks by Gudas and Konecny in the second period, the latter of which didn't draw a penalty.
NOTES: New Jersey's Travis Zajac played under Hakstol at the University of North Dakota from 2004-06. ... Devils C Vernon Fiddler returned to the lineup after missing 12 straight games due to a lower-body injury. ... New Jersey, which lost 3-1 to Montreal on Friday night, improved to 6-2-3 in the second game of a back-to-back set. ... The teams next play the third contest of their five-game season series on March 16 at New Jersey.
Devils: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Flyers: At Islanders on Sunday night.