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Hall, Stafford lift Devils to 5-4 shootout win over Flyers
By AARON BRACY
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Taylor Hall answered a vicious check in the best possible way - by netting the tying goal that helped the Devils snap a four-game losing streak.
Hall scored twice in regulation, Drew Stafford had the only tally in the shootout and New Jersey beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on Tuesday night.
John Moore and Nico Hischier also tallied goals in regulation for the Devils.
Hall was leveled by Radko Gudas just after shooting from a sharp angle 4:08 into the second period. He missed the remainder of the period, going through the concussion protocol, but returned in the third and scored his second of the night with 1:21 left in regulation to tie it at 3. Hischier's shot from the slot rebounded off Neuvirth to Hall, who roofed it for his 23rd of the season.
"You want to feel like yourself and you want to come back and help your team win," Hall said.
Hall's grit impressed Devils coach John Hynes.
"He's a driven kid," Hynes said. "It's another game for him where I think it's great for him and our team, the investment level he's had. His ability to impact the game the right way and play the right way is fantastic."
Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist and Radko Gudas, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers, who learned earlier Tuesday that starting goalie Brian Elliott will be out for at least five weeks.
Philadelphia had its four-game winning streak snapped and remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while the seventh-place Devils pulled within two points.
"We're not happy with that, but the effort and work ethic were good," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.
Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves and stopped all three Flyers attempts in the shootout.
"I knew we had to get off this (losing streak)," Kinkaid said.
Stafford, New Jersey's second shooter, beat Michal Neuvirth through the five-hole to end it.
Neuvirth, the Flyers' backup, made 31 saves in his second straight start since Elliott was injured during Saturday's shootout at Arizona. General manager Ron Hextall announced prior to the game that Elliott had abdominal surgery on Tuesday and will be out 5 to 6 weeks.
"It's definitely exciting, but I feel bad for (Elliott)," Neuvirth said of being elevated to No. 1. "This is a team game. We are playing for each other."
The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.
After Hall's first goal, Laughton's tally 41 seconds later from close range put the Flyers ahead. And it was a two-goal advantage for Philadelphia when Gudas' slap shot from the point whizzed past Kinkaid with 9:24 left in the period.
Moore's hard slap shot beat Neuvirth on the glove side with 6:43 remaining in the second to pull New Jersey within 3-2, but Giroux answered with a power play goal 2:42 later when his shot from a sharp angle deflected off the stick of Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy and through Kinkaid's legs.
Ten seconds later, Hischier finished a 2-on-1 with a wrist shot over Neuvirth's glove after a turnover by Ivan Provorov off the faceoff to make it 4-3.
Konecny opened the scoring 1:54 into the contest with his 14th goal of the season and eighth in the last 13 games when he streaked down the right side and shot past Kinkaid.
NOTES: In 41 games this season, Elliott has posted a 21-11-7 mark with a 2.72 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. ... Hall has points in 15 straight games (11 goals, 12 assists). ... New Jersey's Brian Boyle (right shoulder) and John Quenneville (right knee) didn't make the trip to Philadelphia and are day-to-day. ... The teams tied the season series at 2 games apiece.
Devils: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
Flyers: At Columbus on Friday night.
More NHL hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
Updated February 13, 2018
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