NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at New Jersey
(Thursday, April 13th)
Final Score: New Jersey 4, Philadelphia 1
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Zach Parise scored two goals and Martin Brodeur made 33 saves as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Scott Gomez tallied a goal and an assist and Brian Gionta registered three assists for the Devils, who tied a season-high with nine straight wins. The Devils, who clinched their ninth consecutive playoff berth on Tuesday, have two games left in the regular season.
With the win, New Jersey has 97 points and is tied with Philadelphia for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Both teams sit three points behind the Atlantic Division leading New York Rangers, who lost to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Montreal, which defeated Boston on Thursday, is four points behind both the Devils and Flyers with two games left.
"As we said before, the most important thing right now is playing well, not looking beyond the present" Devils head coach Lou Lamoriello said. "Now we just get ready for Sunday afternoon."
The Flyers, who have a game in hand on the Devils and Rangers, will host New York on Saturday before returning to the Meadowlands to face the Devils again on Sunday. Philadelphia closes out the regular season at the New York Islanders.
Philadelphia must win its final three games and beat the Rangers in regulation to win the Atlantic and secure the third seed in the playoffs.
"I'm disappointed," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This was a big game. We didn't have everybody on board. We made far too many mistakes."
Nicholas Dimitrakos tallied Philadelphia's only goal and Robert Esche stopped 32 shots for the Flyers, who have lost two of three and three of their last five games.
New Jersey drew first blood with 9:40 left in the first period after Sergei Brylin beat Esche stick side with a wrister from the slot for a 1-0 lead.
The Devils extended their advantage with 1:40 left in the opening frame when Gionta threw a shot on goal that caromed off of Parise's leg and through Esche's five hole.
New Jersey pushed its lead to 3-0 while on the power play at the 14:14 mark of the middle frame when Gomez swept the puck on goal from below the right circle that hit off Flyers' defenseman Mike Rathje's shoulder and bounced past Esche.
Philadelphia stopped the bleeding with 15:57 left in the third period while on the man advantage when Dimitrakos one-timed a rebound past Brodeur's glove side to make it 3-1.
The Devils however, got the goal back less than five minutes later as Parise deposited the puck over Esche's stick-side shoulder on his second whack from below the left circle for a 4-1 lead.
Gionta remained within one goal of Pat Verbeek's franchise-record total of 46, set in 1987-88, and extended his point streak to 13 games...Flyers center Peter Forsberg sat out for the third straight game with a nagging groin injury...The Devils are 25-8-0 with four ties against the Flyers at home since the beginning of the 1991-92 season.
04/13 23:13:23 ET