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Devils win third straight over falling Flyers

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Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves and came within 1:18 of a shutout as the visiting New Jersey Devils scored early in each period en route to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

The Devils (17-27-7, 41 points) matched a season high with their third straight win following a 10-game skid (0-9-1). After losing Sunday in Philadelphia in the shootout, the Devils never trailed in the final three games of the four-game series and scored in the first six minutes of each period Saturday.

Jesper Bratt scored five minutes into the game, Janne Kuokkanen tallied less than a minute into the second and Nico Hischier netted a shorthanded goal 5:14 into the third. Yegor Sharangovich scored New Jersey’s final goal with about five minutes remaining.

Jack Hughes collected two assists while Kevin Bahl contributed his first career assist after making his NHL debut Thursday.

Blackwood nearly posted his seventh career shutout and second this season before Joel Farabee scored with 78 seconds remaining.

Philadelphia (22-22-7, 51 points) played its first game since being officially eliminated from the playoff race Thursday. The Flyers dropped to 11-18-4 since March began and 5-9-3 since March 31.

Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 21 shots.

New Jersey took a 1-0 lead five minutes in by turning effective defense into quick offense.

Bahl pried the puck loose from Jakub Voracek behind Philadelphia’s net and quickly dished the puck to Pavel Zacha, who carried it into the offensive zone. Zacha whipped a cross-ice pass that Bratt converted into a wrist shot from the right circle that sailed over Elliott’s right arm.

Philadelphia nearly tied the game about five minutes later when Sharangovich got a loose puck from Scott Laughton and kicked it into his own net. After a brief review, the replay showed the puck stopped on the goal line and the apparent tally was disallowed.

New Jersey took a 2-0 lead in the opening minute of the second when Kuokkanen got a cross-ice feed from Hughes and put a wrist shot from the right circle over Elliott’s stick.

The Devils opened a 3-0 lead when Hischier finished off an odd-man rush with his second career shorthanded goal by beating Elliott with a wrist shot from the left circle that sailed under his left arm.

–Field Level Media

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