By Jenny Masters

The Devils are one of the best teams in the East, and the Flyers are one of the worst.

Dawson Mercer scored in his sixth straight game, Akira Schmid made 24 saves for his first shutout and the Devils pounded the Flyers 7-0, handing goaltender Samuel Ersson his first loss.

Jonas Siegenthaler, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Dougie Hamilton, Jesper Bratt and Nathan Bastian also scored as the Devils improved to 15-3-2 in their last 20 games. The seven-goal winning margin was New Jersey’s largest of the season, and the output matched their season high.

Ersson, who was the 12th NHL goaltender to win each of his first six decision, was outstanding making 29 saves as Philadelphia fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight games. Two of the Devils’ goals were deflected by Flyers players, another one came when a defenseman was pushed into Ersson and opened the crease and four were on his doorstep by open players.

“I let in seven goals. I can’t be happy,” Ersson said. “But like, yeah, it’s tough. I mean, I want to win every game. I want to save every puck. So it’s obviously a lot of goals. I have to make a couple of saves here.”


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