The New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, in Game 5 on Tuesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2012 NHL Playoffs where they will play the winner of the series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.
The turning point of the game arguably came late in the first quarter when Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov tried to clear the puck and instead hit David Clarkson charging toward the net. Clarkson deflected the puck off his skate through the 5-hole of Bryzgalov to give the Devils a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Flyers seized momentum early on a Maxime Talbot goal to take a 1-0 lead just after the seven minute mark of the first period. That lead last just two minutes and nine seconds when Bryce Salvador added his second tally of the season off assists by Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk.
The second period featured plenty of hard hits, but no scoring. The Devils continued to wear down the Flyers. Philadelphia was out shot 11-7 in the period, giving the New Jersey two powerplay opportunities. The Devils didn't expand their lead, but they did seem like the more energized team.
Kovalchuk capped scoring in the third period, capitalizing on the Devils' fourth powerplay opportunity of the game to give his team a 3-1 lead. A well-screened Bryzgalov had little chance against a long slapshot to the upper right side of the net.
The Flyers had just one powerplay in the game when Adam Larsson was whistled for interference early in the second period. Martin Brodeur was solid in net for the Devils turning back 27 of 28 shots faced. Bryzgalov recorded 27 saves on 30 shots against.
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