PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Voracek thought he wasn’t very good for most of the first two periods. The Flyers were plenty happy with his performance.
“You guys have to watch the game a little bit more, you know what I mean,” Voracek said. “It’s not only about points.”
Voracek scored the go-ahead goal and added two assists, and Philadelphia finally played some solid defense in a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
Voracek, who was demoted from the Flyers’ top line, took a loose puck at center ice and kept it himself on a 2-on-1 breakaway, beating Keith Kinkaid for his third goal of the season to put the Flyers ahead 3-2 with 3:10 remaining.
“I was thinking pass all the way,” Voracek said. “But their defenseman played tight to that side, and when I decided to shoot I was too close to the goalie, so I had to do something — and it worked.”
Earlier, Voracek stripped Will Butcher and made a cross-ice pass to Nolan Patrick for a tap-in goal that put the Flyers ahead 2-1 with about a minute left in the second period. Voracek added his second assist on Scott Laughton’s empty-netter.
“I’m glad his expectations are high,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “He’s playing some really good hockey right now. With his dynamics he can change the look of a hockey game. … If he wants to do more, that’s good. … Hey, we’re .500, so everybody has got to be a little bit better.”
Travis Konecny also scored a goal and Wayne Simmonds added an empty-netter of his own for the Flyers, who limited the Devils to just 21 shots. Philadelphia had allowed four goals or more in five of its first seven games.
Brian Elliott, who was pulled after giving up four goals to the Florida Panthers last Tuesday, bounced back to make 19 saves and earn his second win of the season.
Damon Severson and Brian Boyle scored for the Devils, who have lost two straight games after winning their first four. Kinkaid made 16 saves.
“To lose a game against a good team on the road, it was casual,” Boyle said. “Yeah, it’s disappointing, but we gotta get better. All of us could be better. Everybody who goes on that bench, for every game we got to be ready to go, need to be dialed in. It’s really disappointing.”
Konecny scored the Flyers’ first goal with a wrist shot from the right circle on a power play, his second goal of the season after going without a goal in his first six games. It was the first goal this season from Philadelphia’s second power-play unit.
Simmonds’ goal was his team-leading sixth of the season.
Severson put the Devils ahead just over four minutes into the game.
Boyle tied it for New Jersey with a power-play goal early in the third period. Hakstol challenged the goal, citing goaltender interference, and although Kyle Palmieri’s skate was in the crease and made contact with Elliott’s stick, replay officials ruled the contact was incidental and let the goal stand.
“We don’t win many challenges here,” Elliott said. “So I wasn’t surprised.”
NOTES: The Devils have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their six games. … This was the Devils’ first true road game of the season, although they played their season opener in Sweden against the Edmonton Oilers. … Hakstol juggled his defensive pairings in-game, breaking up his top pairing of Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere for the first time in nearly a year. The Flyers entered play Saturday with the second-most goals allowed in the league. … Patrick returned to the Flyers’ lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury, replacing Corban Knight, who played in his first NHL game last Thursday.
Devils: Get four days off before hosting the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Flyers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday. The Flyers lost 5-2 on their lone visit to Denver earlier this month.
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