Adam Henrique, Steve Bernier Lead Devils Over Philadelphia Flyers


Before Sunday evening’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the New Jersey Devils celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their 1995 Stanley Cup championship. There was a ton of emotion and energy inside the Prudential Center before the game even started. Luckily for the Devils, they translated that into a dominating 5-2 win over their division rivals. Adam Henrique led the way with a pair of goals while Steve Bernier had a career-high three assists. Those were just two of the five Devils who had multi-point nights: Scott Gomez (2 A), Andy Greene (2 A), Stephen Gionta (1 G, 1 A).

Mar 8, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; Former New Jersey Devils captain Scott Stevens (4) speaks during the ceremony honoring the 1995 New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup championship team before the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Keith Kinkaid got the start tonight and he did his job as he stopped 25 of the 27 shots Philly fired at him. He was terrific, as he’s been all season, and the Devils finally gave him the support he needed. This was the first time they scored more than three goals in any of his starts. Cory Schneider was probably thinking on the bench “save me some” as he doesn’t get much in terms of goal support either.

Feeding off the pre-game festivities, the Devils came out flying and got on the board first. Bernier won the puck behind the net and Gomez threw it out front to Henrique. His shot was blocked but he ended up getting the puck back and lifting a backhand past Steve Mason. However, the Devils would take their foot off the gas and let the Flyers tie the game just three minutes later. The rest of the period was not very pretty from a Devils standpoint, but Kinkaid kept them knotted at one.

Then the second period came and it didn’t start well as Adam Larsson was whistled for a rather weak hooking penalty. Jacob Josefson made lemonade out of lemons when he put home the rebound of Gionta’s shot for his third shorthanded goal of the season. Josefson has been simply fabulous both in shootouts and on the penalty kill. He seems to have finally found his niche in the NHL.

Mar 8, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) and New Jersey Devils center Jacob Josefson (16) celebrate Josefson

The rest of the period was equally contested until the Devils got on the board again with a late power play goal. Bernier and Gomez played catch along the boards before Eric Gelinas unleashed his booming slap shot. Mason had no chance and the Devils were up 3-1. The assist was momentous for Gomez as he moved into sole possession of third place on the Devils’ all-time assists list. He also tied Scott Niedermayer for fourth all-time in total points as a Devil. Imagine if he never left?

In the third, the Devils would convert on a pair of breakaways sandwiched around a Philly SHG of their own. First it was Henrique and Bernier who came in alone on a 2-on-0. The Devils have trouble converting these kind of situations for some reason, but this time there was no error. Henrique to Bernier to Henrique and a 4-1 lead. With the score 4-2, Gionta put a nice little bow on the game as he took a beautiful ice-long pass from Patrik Elias and beat Mason five-hole. Gionta has quietly been great this season. He knows his role and plays it perfectly.

A 5-2 win against the hated Flyers on top of the 1995 SC ceremony was a perfect way to spend a Sunday. Now the Devils head out to the West to take on the Wild, Avs and Coyotes. Those are some tough tests, but a well-rested Cory Schneider plus some offense should be able to come away with hopefully three wins.

Next: Marty Returns As the Devils Celebrate 1995

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