NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at New Jersey
(Saturday, January 20th)
Final Score: New Jersey 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO)
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta scored late in regulation and also tallied in the shootout, to lift New Jersey over Philadelphia, 4-3, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Martin Brodeur allowed three goals on 23 shots for the Devils, who have won four of their last five games.
Ryan Potulny, Kyle Calder and Simon Gagne all tallied for the dismal Flyers, who have now lost eight straight.
Antero Niittymaki started between the pipes for the Flyers and finished with 35 saves.
"Niittymaki was unbelievable for them," said Brodeur. "That game could have been over a lot earlier. It could have been a rout but he was awesome and kept them in the game. We got the breaks in the end and maybe stole that one."
Philadelphia has also lost all four games against New Jersey this season.
In the shootout, Gagne missed the net wide for the Flyers and Gionta beat Niittymaki with a wrister on his stick side.
Brodeur then made a sliding glove save on Peter Forsberg's backhander and Niittymaki stoned Patrik Elias. Brodeur then slammed the five hole shut on Mike Richards' wrister as New Jersey gained the extra point.
"You always want that opportunity to win it for your team," said Gionta.
Potulny scored 2:25 after the opening faceoff to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Potulny poke-checked the puck away from a defender at the New Jersey blue line and quickly snapped a wrister past Brodeur low on his glove side.
With 4:35 remaining in the opening period, the Devils tied the game at 1-1 on a power-play goal by Scott Gomez. From the right circle, Gomez wound up and cranked a slap shot that sailed over the right shoulder of Niittymaki, who was screened by New Jersey's Gionta.
Calder broke the tie and put the Flyers in front with his eighth goal of the season 1:58 into the third. Jeff Carter controlled the puck behind the net and moved out in front at the left side of the crease. From there, Carter backhanded a pass to a streaking Calder, who one-timed the disc into the net.
A tally by Jamie Langenbrunner at 7:58 of the third tied the contest at 2-2. From the left point, Andy Greene ripped a slap shot on net that Niittymaki stopped. Langenbrunner though was camped out in front and deposited the rebound into the net for his 16th goal of the season.
With the game knotted at 2-2, Gagne scored a power-play goal with 6:58 remaining in the third to put the Flyers in front. From the right boards, Mike Knuble slid a pass to Gagne at the right of the goal mouth. Gagne then waited for Brodeur to drop, before roofing the puck just under the crossbar for his 23rd goal of the season.
With the score knotted at 3-3, Gionta found a loose puck in front and fired it past Niittymaki with just 20.8 seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.
"I can't believe what is happening right now," Niittymaki said. "That is hockey some times. They did a good job at just putting the puck on net and making things happen."
Neither team managed to generate any quality scoring chances in the extra session.
The Devils improved to 17-4-4 as the host club this season...The Flyers have dropped seven in a row at the Meadowlands...Philadelphia forward Geoff Sanderson was scratched with soreness in his abdominal area. Sanderson returned to the Flyers on Thursday after missing 16 games with a sports hernia...With the All-Star break this week, the Devils return to action on January 26 with a road game against Tampa Bay. The Flyers will host the Rangers on January 27.
01/20 16:52:09 ET