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Devils down Flyers in overtime to lead series 2-1

Alexei Ponikarovsky scored late in overtime to earn the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 home victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semi-final.

Left wing Ponikarovsky, who assisted in New Jersey's second goal of the game, struck with a backhanded shot on his own rebound with 2:39 remaining to put the Devils in control of the best-of-seven series.

Devils goal-tender Martin Brodeur produced a gritty performance with 25 saves to shade Philadelphia's Ilya Bryzgalov, who made 27 at the other end.

Matt Carle tied it for the Flyers in the second period before Zach Parise's wrist shot for the Devils in the third was matched by Philadelphia's Danny Briere, who chipped a rebound over Brodeur's pads, to take the game into overtime.

The Devils, who had scored four third-period goals to blow away the Flyers 4-1 on Tuesday to level the series, killed off two penalties in overtime and outshot the Flyers 31-28 in Game Three.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)