Jan 22, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT
The Philadelphia Flyers went into this afternoon’s game against the New Jersey Devils on top of the NHL and 3-0-1 against their Atlantic Division foes but Jacques Lemaire’s streaking bunch beat them 3-1.
The Chicago Blackhawks proved to be a similar divisional thorn in the side of the Detroit Red Wings, topping the Central-leading team 4-1.
It’s easy to frame it as the worst team in the NHL beating the best and that’s technically true, but it only seemed like a matter of time before the Devils would take one form the Flyers. With this win, New Jersey is now on a three game streak, the best of a mostly miserable 2010-11 season.
Henrik Tallinder scored the first goal while Patrik Elias provided the other two tallies (the game winner in the first to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead and an empty netter to clinch it at 3-1) for the Devils. James van Riemsdyk scored Philadelphia’s only goal in the second period.
Johan Hedberg earned his sixth win of the season by stopping all but one of the 27 shots sent his way. You can’t put it all on Brian Boucher, but he didn’t have his best day either. He allowed two goals on 21 shots.
The Flyers are still in first in the East and NHL (Vancouver can change that if they beat Calgary tonight) while the Devils still remain dead last, but New Jersey will take what they can get.
While Philly stumbled going into tomorrow’s Game of the Week/Stanley Cup finals rematch, Chicago is starting to look like a legitimate contender again. They’re on a 5-0-1 run thanks to this nice win over a bruised and battered Red Wings team.
Cory Emmerton scored a goal in his NHL debut for Detroit, but the Blackhawks scored four unanswered goals to take the win. Dave Bolland tied it, Tomas Kopecky scored two in a row and then Troy Brouwer put the icing on the cake in the third.
Corey Crawford made 36 out of 37 saves for his 16th win of the season while Jimmy Howard allowed four goals on 33 shots for the loss.
Detroit still has a comfortable Central division lead (six more points than the Nashville Predators, eight more than Chicago) but must be weary of dropping too many considering how hot the Hawks are. The Blackhawks are currently tied with the Anaheim Ducks for sixth place in the West, although Chicago earned 56 points in two less games.
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