Led by James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux, Flyers settle down the noise with win over Devils

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Jordan Hall
·4 min read
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Led by the big boys, Flyers settle down the noise with win over Devils originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

After his team took a pair of punches to the gut in Boston, Alain Vigneault said the Flyers would get up (and clean themselves up) when they headed to New Jersey.

"We really believe that we can be better than we've been playing so far," Vigneault said Monday, "and we will be."

The Flyers were better for their head coach Tuesday night by delivering a 5-3 win over the Devils at the Prudential Center.

For the first time this season, the Flyers (4-2-1) outshot their opponent with a 31-26 edge over the Devils (3-2-1).

James van Riemsdyk got things going with two goals, while Nolan Patrick, Joel Farabee and Ivan Provorov (empty-netter) also tallied markers. Claude Giroux set a franchise record and was all over the ice.

The Flyers relinquished a 2-0 lead in the second period but never trailed. They showed some resolve.

• The Flyers' biggest attraction to van Riemsdyk when the club brought him back during July 2018 was his propensity to wreak havoc in front of the net with all kinds of strategy, particularly on the power play.

Last season, van Riemsdyk did not provide the power play production the Flyers were hoping for as he scored only four man advantage goals. That was his fewest total since 2011-12, when he played only 43 games in his final season with Flyers before being traded to the Maple Leafs.

To start the 2020-21 season, van Riemsdyk looks like vintage JVR. He scored a pair of power play goals Tuesday night on redirections to hand the Flyers a 2-0 lead. Van Riemsdyk has already matched his number of man advantage tallies from last season.

2019-20 — four in 66 games

2020-21 — four in seven games

Van Riemsdyk (five goals, two assists) has been a point-per-game guy through seven games. The Flyers are awfully good when he's producing. Since van Riemsdyk's return in the summer of 2018, the Flyers are 42-13-5 when he records at least one point.

• Giroux, who has six assists through seven games, made a filthy play to set up Patrick's go-ahead goal 7:03 into the final stanza, giving the Flyers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

• Shayne Gostisbehere didn't play a perfect game in his season debut, but he was good and effective with his legs, which is exactly what the Flyers wanted to see from the 27-year-old.

He played 21:57 minutes and was on the top pair with Provorov, who finished with a three-point game (one goal, two assists).

• Making his 432nd career start, Brian Elliott was clutch again for the Flyers by making 23 saves. He had a 40-save shutout in his first start.

New Jersey was without No. 1 goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, who has been sidelined because of COVID protocol. Scott Wedgewood made his 24th career start and converted 26 saves.

• After allowing seven third-period goals in the two-game set against the Bruins, the Flyers allowed only one to the Devils. When it happened, they were already in control with a three-goal lead.

• Jack Hughes was held scoreless. The 2019 first overall pick had seven points coming into the game.

• Farabee had gone scoreless since his four-point performance in the season opener until he netted a huge insurance goal during the third period.

The 20-year-old winger extended the Flyers' lead to 4-2. Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton forced a turnover on the forecheck. Timely work from that line, which is critical to the Flyers' secondary scoring.

• Giroux set a franchise record by passing club icon and Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Clarke for most games played as a Flyers captain with his 611th on Tuesday night.

"It's very special," Giroux said Monday. "Clarkie is obviously one of the best, probably the best player that has ever played in this organization. He's been great for me, early in my career, he helped me a lot. It feels great."

Speaking of milestones, Jakub Voracek notched his 400th career assist with the Flyers on van Riemsdyk's first goal. Voracek is fifth on the club's all-time assists list.

• The Flyers are traveling home after the game but will head back to Newark, New Jersey on Thursday for a second matchup with the Devils (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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