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Devils aim to extend win streak vs. frustrated Flyers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils try to stretch their winning streak to three straight games on Saturday night as they play host to the rival Philadelphia Flyers.

The Devils have won consecutive games for the first time since April 23-25 of last season and both wins have come with veteran Martin Brodeur in net.

Cory Schneider, acquired from the Vancouver Canucks this offseason, has missed the past two contests with a lower-body injury.

Brodeur and fellow veteran Jaromir Jagr helped the Devils to a 2-1 triumph over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Brodeur made 16 saves and Jagr was credited with the game-winner.

It marked Jagr's 119th career game-winning goal, the most by an NHL player in the expansion era (1967-68), as he surpassed Phil Esposito's 118.

Gordie Howe owns the all-time record with 121 game-winning goals.

"I was watching (Esposito) in 1972. I wasn't watching it live because I was just born, but I was watching the tapes. He was the man back then," said Jagr with a smile, adding he didn't know he broke the record until after the game.

"At least I got one record. (Wayne) Gretzky got all the other ones. But it's a big accomplishment. You have to be pretty lucky to score at the right time. That's the way I think my body is built where I don't get tired, so I scored a lot of goals in the third period. That's why I have so many game-winners."

Adam Henrique scored shorthanded for the Devils, who haven't won three straight since a five-game run from Feb. 3-10.

Brodeur made back-to-back starts for the first time this season and is expected to start again tonight. He won all three of his outings versus the Flyers last season, posting a 1.00 goals against average and two shutouts while stopping 72-of-75 shots faced.

Schneider returned to practice on Thursday and could back up Brodeur tonight. He could also get a start on Sunday when the Devils visit the Minnesota Wild and former captain Zach Parise.

New Jersey will play host to a frustrated Philadelphia club that was pounded 7-0 at home by the Washington Capitals Friday night.

The Flyers were routed by a Caps club missing an injured Alex Ovechkin and Philadelphia came out of the game embarrassed and injured. Vincent Lecavalier sustained facial injuries during a third-period fight and is day-to-day, while the recently-acquired Steve Downie suffered a concussion as the result of his second-period scrap.

Lecavalier's fight came during a melee eight seconds after Washington made it 7-0. Wayne Simmonds started the brawl with a big hit that led to him tangling with Tom Wilson, while Brayden Schenn also fought.

Goaltender Ray Emery, who relieved Steve Mason after he gave up his third goal of the game during the second period, skated the length of the ice to fight Washington goaltender Braden Holtby, a reluctant opponent.

"He didn't want a fight, but I said basically 'protect yourself,'" Emery stated. "He didn't really have much of a choice."

Philadelphia ended with 99 penalty minutes, its highest single-game total since a franchise-record 213 versus Ottawa on March 5, 2004. But it also cost them two players to injury as well as a sixth loss in eight games.

"It can't get a whole lot lower, can it?" Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

As for tonight's game, Mason is 0-3-0 with a 3.68 GAA in his career versus the Devils, while Emery is a solid 5-3-2 with a 2.08 GAA in 10 meetings.

The Devils won four of five versus the Flyers last year, winning all three at home, and have taken seven of the past 10 encounters overall. That includes four straight victories in New Jersey.