Flyers eliminate Devils in five games

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The underdog Philadelphia Flyers pulled off a major upset by eliminating the New Jersey Devils from the playoffs with a 3-0 victory on Thursday.

Goaltender Brian Boucher stopped all 28 shots he faced to help the seventh-seed Flyers, who only qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, to capture their best-of-seven first-round series 4-1.

Philadelphia had won the series opener, and after losing the second, won the next three games to send New Jersey to its third consecutive first-round exit from the playoffs.

Playing without injured forwards Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne, Philadelphia's Danny Brier opened the scoring at 3:16 in the first period before Claude Giroux scored two goals in the second to send the Flyers through to the second round.

Ilya Kovalchuk attempted a team-high seven shots while netminder Martin Brodeur saved 18 of 21 shots for the Devils.

The Flyers will play the second round without regular-season leading goal scorer Carter, and Gagne, both of whom sustained foot injuries after being hit by shots in Game Four.

Both will have surgery on Friday.

(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)