(Friday, February 15th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Philadelphia 3
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - David Clarkson potted his 10th goal of the season in the third period as the New Jersey Devils rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-3, at Prudential Center.
Patrik Elias had a goal with two assists and Ilya Kovalchuk added three helpers for the Eastern Conference-leading Devils, who were down 3-1 after the first period.
Martin Brodeur made 25 saves to earn his 47th career win against the Flyers.
Ilya Bryzgalov faced only 18 New Jersey shots, but four of them wound up in the back of his net.
"When you got a 3-1 lead, you got to find a way to get it done," said Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux.
Clarkson broke a 3-3 tie at the 10:43 mark of the third. Matt Read tried to use the glass in attempt to clear the puck out of the Philadelphia zone, but Devils defenseman Adam Larsson kept it in at the right point and fired a shot that was redirected by Clarkson inside the near post.
Steve Bernier iced the win with an empty-net goal with 1:36 remaining.
For the second straight meeting, Travis Zajac gave New Jersey an early lead.
Off a pass from Kovalchuk, Zajac fired a wrister from the left circle behind Bryzgalov 40 seconds after the game's opening faceoff. The tally ended an 11- game drought and was his first since scoring 1:07 into New Jersey's home opener, a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 22.
Unlike last month, the Flyers were able to solve Brodeur Friday night, doing so three times in a 2:36 span later in the first period.
The barrage began on the power play, a unit that was 0-for-6 in the first encounter this season. Wayne Simmonds parked himself in front of Brodeur and whipped a backhander through the goaltender's pads at 9:27.
Clarkson rang a shot off the post roughly a minute after Simmonds lit the lamp.
Mike Knuble then beat a fellow 40-year-old at 11:15 as Philadelphia worked the puck from the icing line to the high slot. Read made it 3-1 with a one-time blast from the inner edge of the left circle at 12:03.
"We all know we didn't play well (in the first period). They took advantage of some of our breakdowns," Brodeur said.
The Devils erased their deficit in the second behind goals from a repatriated Alexei Ponikarovsky and Elias.
As was the case in the first period, Bryzgalov gave up a goal in the opening minute. Kovalchuk gloved Brodeur's stretch pass in the neutral zone and dished to Ponikarovsky, who beat the Flyers netminder on short side 26 seconds into the frame.
The Devils acquired Ponikarovsky Wednesday in a trade that sent two draft picks to Winnipeg. Ponikarovsky elected free agency after registering one goal and eight assists in the Devils' run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.
Kovalchuk fed Elias for the equalizer, a shot which dribbled over the goal line after squeezing through Bryzgalov's pads, with 4:20 remaining.
Kovalchuk has 799 career points ... Giroux had two assists in his 300th NHL game ... Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return ... The Flyers fell to 1-2-0 on their six-game road trip ... New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene finished plus-4 ... Flyers forward Sean Couturier returned from a two-game absence due to the flu.
02/15 23:26:53 ET