The New Jersey Devils defeated the host Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 to advance to the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference finals for the first time in nine years.
The Devils won the best-of-seven playoff series by four games to one and will face the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals for a place in the Stanley Cup finals. That series resumes tonight in Washington with the Rangers leading by three games to two.
“That’s a good team we just beat,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer told reporters. “We have a long way to go.”
Maxime Talbot opened the scoring for the home team at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia last night after seven minutes, 18 seconds. Bryce Salvador tied it 2:09 later and David Clarkson put the Devils ahead after 12:45 in the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk made it 3-1 five minutes into the third period.
New Jersey hasn’t played in the conference finals since 2003, when it won the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history.