The Philadelphia Flyers are off to a great start, and no one deserves more credit than goaltender Ray Emery.
Emery made 24 saves and came within roughly 10 minutes of becoming the Flyers’ first goalie to open the season with consecutive shutouts since Hall of Famer Bernie Parent in 1973, leading Philadelphia to a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
“You (hope) for it,” Emery said of start. “You can’t predict anything, that’s why you want to have a good camp, to have a strong start and get off on the right foot. We are definitely happy winning two games on the road.”
Emery, who signed with the Flyers as a free agent after playing a season in Russia, was by far the better goaltender in outduelling Martin Brodeur, who was playing in his 1,000th career game.
After stopping 28 shots in blanking the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 on Friday night, Emery put on a show against New Jersey in also spoiling the return of Jacques Lemaire as the Devils’ coach. Emery stopped Jay Pandolfo and Travis Zajac point blank in the first period as the Flyers withstood two two-man disadvantages, including a full two-minute, two man shortage in which New Jersey had one shot.
Emery also stopped Zajac in close early in the second period on a power play and he made a diving glove save on Pandolfo after losing his stick in a melee in front.
“He’s been incredible,” Flyers rookie James Van Riemsdyk said. “If he has had any doubters I think he’s proved them all wrong now because of how incredible he has played. He made every save he should, and some saves he should not have made. He gave us a chance to win both nights.”
All four of the Flyers’ lines scored, with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scoring for the second straight night and Ian Laperriere, Darroll Powe and Matt Carle also scoring.
“It’s going to be critical all year, different people stepping up,” Richards said. “All four lines scored tonight and that’s what we need to have success.”
Brian Rolston and Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Devils, who will need a much better effort from Brodeur. He faced only 27 shots and seemed to battled the puck.
“It was a tough game,” Brodeur said. “Positioning I thought I was pretty good on a few of them and other ones I really wasn’t there.”
Lemaire, who led the Devils to a Stanley Cup in 1995 in his first stint in New Jersey, said this wasn’t one of Brodeur’s best games.
“He let in a couple and after that maybe he was questioning himself,” Lemaire said.
Carter gave the Flyers the lead for good with 4:03 left in the first period. He skated into the left circle after taking a pass off the boards and fired a wrist shot past Brodeur after his centring pass was blocked.
Laperriere stretched the lead to 2-0 midway through the second period with a shot from the right circle that hit off Brodeur’s shoulder and went into the net.
Richards came out from behind the net and stuffed a shot past Brodeur late in the second period.
Powe and Carle scored on shots from the left circle that either hit off Brodeur’s glove or went under his arm.
Rolston ended Emery’s shutout streak with a blast from between the circles while Langenbrunner closed out the scoring with a short-handed goal.
NOTES: Devils F Patrik Elias is expected to be sidelined another 3-4 weeks following groin surgery. … Van Riemsdyk, a Middletown, N.J., resident, had 100 fans at the game. He has three assists in two games. … This marked the first time in Flyers’ history that they have opened the season with consecutive road wins.