Flyers squeak by Devils 2-1; Peter Laviolette will be one of All-Star team co-coaches

The Philadelphia Flyers might not have a single player from their roster appear in the 2010 NHL All-Star Game, but their coach will represent them as one of the event’s coaches thanks to today’s 2-1 win over the woeful New Jersey Devils.

A big reason the talented team might not have a player on either all-star teams is that they are so deep. James van Riemsdyk, Danny Briere and Brian Boucher came up big this afternoon, showing that the club doesn’t depend on Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and injured defenseman Chris Pronger alone.

Philadelphia 2, New Jersey 1

Boucher stopped 34 out of 35 shots while Van Riemsdyk and Briere scored a goal each. Johan Hedberg received the hook early in the game after allowing two goals, giving way to Martin Brodeur, who stopped all 19 Flyers shots to keep New Jersey in the game.

Philly currently holds a slight lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins (57 to 56 points) for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, who will play against the Minnesota Wild tonight. The Devils keep hitting new lows in the Brodeur era, as they lost their 11th straight road game. If they lose another game away from Newark, that would tie the longest road losing streak in franchise history, dating back to 1983.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: