NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — David Clarkson scored on a deflection at 10:43 of the third period and the New Jersey Devils rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Friday night.
Travis Zajac, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Patrik Elias scored the Devils’ other goals with Ilya Kovalchuk getting the primary assist on each. Martin Brodeur made 25 saves and had an assist, while Steve Bernier iced the game with an empty-net goal.
Wayne Simmonds, Mike Knuble and Matt Read scored in a first-period onslaught for the Flyers, who are 2-7 on the road this season. Ilya Bryzgalov had 15 saves.
Clarkson’s team-high 10th goal came on a deflection of a point shot by Adam Larsson. Elias assisted on the last two goals.
The Devils scored on the first shot of the game, then watched the Flyers score three goals in a 2:36 span later in the first period to take a 3-1 lead. New Jersey scored two goals in the second period to tie the game at 3-all.
Kovalchuk had the primary assist on all three of the Devils goals, with the last one coming when he intercepted a pass by defenseman Kimmo Timonen deep in the Philadelphia zone and found Elias between the circle for a shot that Bryzgalov got a piece of but couldn’t stop.
Ponikarovsky, who was acquired from Winnipeg on Wednesday after Dainius Zubrus was put on the injured list, had cut the Flyers’ lead to 3-2 just 26 seconds into the second period with a shot from the left circle. Brodeur started the play with a long pass to Kovalchuk near the Philadelphia blue line. He found Ponikarovsky coming down the left side for an uncontested snap shot high into the net.
Simmonds, Knuble and Read had silenced all but the Devils fans in the building with their outburst midway through the opening period.
Simmonds got the red light turning, beating Brodeur in close on a power play at 9:27 after Brayden Schenn misfired on a shot from between the circles.
Knuble got his second of the season with a rising shot from between the circles that seemed to fool Brodeur after Stephen Gionta went down to block it. Ruslan Fedotenko set up the goal with a nice pass from the side boards.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer then called a timeout to settle his team down.
It didn’t work. Defenseman Mark Fayne had a clearing pass intercepted in the right circle by Claude Giroux and he found Read alone in the left circle for a shot that zipped past Brodeur at 12:03.
Zajac had given the Devils the lead 40 seconds after the opening faceoff. Kovalchuk picked up the puck near his own blue line, skated into the Flyers zone and found his center in the left circle for a quick shot that beat Bryzgalov. It was Zajac’s first goal since the team’s met here on Jan. 22.
NOTES: Giroux appeared in his 300th NHL game. … The Flyers and Devils will meet three more times this season. … The assist was Brodeur’s 41st of his career and first since February 2013 versus Pittsburgh. … Flyers LW Scott Hartnell, who broke his left foot in the first game against the Devils here on Jan. 22, skated Friday and is expected to be sidelined another week, general manager Paul Holmgren said. … Read has goals in three of the last five games and leads the Flyers with six goals.
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