NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Philadelphia
(Thursday, April 5th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Philadelphia 2
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur used 34 saves to break the all-time mark for wins in a single season and Jim Dowd scored the short-handed game-winner midway through the third period, as the New Jersey Devils clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 3-2 win over Philadelphia.
Brodeur secured his 48th win of 2006-07 and in the process broke the record that was formerly held by longtime Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent.
The Devils, who are now division champions for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons, won their second consecutive game under the guidance of new head coach Lou Lamoriello. The Devils' general manager and face of the organization also coached 50 games last season and led the team on an amazing run in the second half of the campaign. On Monday, head coach Claude Julien was unexpectedly fired.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Sergei Brylin also scored for the Devils, who will finish their regular season on Sunday afternoon at home against the Islanders before they host the first two postseason games versus a yet-to-be-determined opponent. If victorious in the first round, New Jersey would also host any opponent in the next round as well.
The Devils attained their 49th win of the season Thursday, eclipsing the franchise-record from 1997-98 and 2000-01.
Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne scored for the Flyers, who with 54 points are dangerously close to finishing this season with the worst mark in franchise history (58 points in 1969-70). With two weekend home games remaining in the regular season, Philly would need to win both games just to tie the franchise- worst mark.
With the score tied 2-2 midway through the third period, Dowd's short-handed tally gave the Devils the lead for good. The Flyers skated with the man advantage due to a hooking penalty to forward Scott Gomez, but a turnover led to a 2-on-1 rush. Brylin carried the disc down the right-wing side and sent a saucer pass over the stick of Alexandre Picard before a one-timer from the left circle by Dowd beat Martin Biron with 11:14 remaining in regulation.
Brodeur stopped all 13 shots he faced in the final stanza and the Devils defense thwarted most of the potential Philadelphia scoring chances the rest of the way, as the Devils surrounded Brodeur and celebrated both his new record and another division crown.
The Flyers opened the scoring on Carter's 14th goal of the season, 1:05 after the opening faceoff. The puck sat in the crease after a wraparound attempt by Scottie Upshall at the left post and Carter poked in home from the top of the crease during a scramble in front of the net.
In the latter stages of the first stanza, the visitors tied the contest with a power-play goal. With Sami Kapanen in the penalty box for holding, the Devils worked the puck around the perimeter before Langenbrunner held control at the right point. The veteran forward then inched in from the blue line and released a slap shot that made its way through traffic and into the back of the cage.
With 13:23 to go in second period, it appeared Philadelphia had possibly taken the lead. Upshall skated in alone on a clear breakaway and lifted a backhander that sailed into the pads of Brodeur, who fell back into the net. The referee lost sight of the puck and it was not clear if it had crossed the goal line while Brodeur covered it. A review of the play confirmed the no-goal call that was originally made on the ice.
However several minutes later, Gagne's 39th goal midway through the period did in fact put the Flyers in front. Picard spun around at the centerpoint and released a slap shot that was deflected by Gagne atop the left circle and it flew past Brodeur at the 9:27 mark.
A very similar deflection goal brought New Jersey even at 2-2 with over five minutes remaining before the second intermission. Skating 5-on-4, the Devils converted on the power play again via Brylin's 16th goal. Geoff Sanderson was whistled for hooking and blueliner Andy Greene's shot from the right side beneath the blue line was redirected home beautifully by Brylin from the slot.
Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo currently has 46 wins with two games remaining...Biron ended with 30 saves...For Gagne, it was his 199th career goal and the 500th game of his career...Parent's mark of 47 victories occurred during the Flyers' Stanley Cup title season of 1973-74...The Devils won the season series 7-1 and have captured 10 of their last 11 games overall against the rival Flyers...NJ finished 2-for-6 on the power play and held the Flyers scoreless on their four chances with the extra skater...Attendance was 19,177.
04/06 00:24:58 ET