Atkinson's hat trick leads Flyers past Devils 6-1

Cam Atkinson had three goals and an assist to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Travis Sanheim and Oskar Lindblom each had a goal and an assist, and Justin Braun also scored for the Flyers, who won their third game in a row after losing 10 straight. Philadelphia improved to 3-2 under interim coach Mike Yeo, who took over Dec. 6 when Alain Vigneault was fired. 

Yeo has implemented a more up-tempo offensive style, and Philadelphia has 20 goals with Yeo at the helm after netting 13 in Vigneault's final eight games -- all losses.

P.K. Subban scored for the Devils, who have lost three straight and seven of eight. New Jersey was without captain Nico Hischier and top defenseman Ryan Graves, who each missed a second straight game due to COVID-19 protocols.

Atkinson finished a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play with Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen from close range to make it 2-0 with 1:25 left in the first period. Atkinson got his second goal short-handed on a hard slap shot that made it 4-1 with 3:44 left in the second, and completed his hat trick with a one-timer from in front that gave Philadelphia a 6-1 advantage with 12:51 remaining.

Atkinson upped his team-leading total to 12 goals this season.

Philadelphia broke the game open with three goals on nine shots in the second.

Braun's wrister from long range made it 3-0 at 6:07 of the period. After Subban's wrister got New Jersey on the board 36 seconds later, the Devils turned it over in their zone on a power play and Ivan Provorov set up Atkinson perfectly on a breakaway. 

Atkinson then helped finish the scoring in the period when he chipped a pass to Lindblom, whose wrister whizzed past Mackenzie Blackwood's glove side with 1:40 left in the period.

The Flyers skated off in the second period to loud cheers, something that hasn't been heard much this season in Philadelphia -- especially of late. The victory was their first on home ice since Nov. 16, snapping a five-game home skid. 

Things had gotten so bad in Philadelphia during the tail end of the slide that a large contingent of Flyers fans changed their social media profile pictures to a brown bag with a sad face placed over the head of a Flyers fan and used the hashtag (hash)BroadStreetBag, a play on the famed Broad Street Bullies moniker that was hung on the Flyers' back-to-back Stanley Cup championship teams in 1974 and '75.

The Flyers avenged a pair of losses to the Devils, including a 3-0 shutout on Dec. 8 in New Jersey, in the final meeting of the season.

Carter Hart made 26 saves for Philadelphia.

Blackwood was pulled to start the third after stopping 17 of 22 shots, replaced by Akira Schmid. He made seven saves in his second career game.


Devils: D Christian Jaros also didn't play because of COVID-19 protocols, and C Janne Kuokkanen was a late scratch. New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said before the game that one player would not play because of a non-COVID-19 illness.

Flyers: C Morgan Frost left the bench in the first period and did not return.


Devils: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

Flyers: At the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.