Devils 4, Flyers 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Bill Guerin and Sergei Brylin each had a goal and an assist and the New Jersey Devils scored on their first three shots of the game in beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Thursday night.
New Jersey completed a five-game road trip with a 3-1-1 record. Philadelphia’s five-game home winning streak ended. The Atlantic Division-leading Flyers have just one victory in the last five games (1-3-1).
New Jersey did not begin like a team that was playing its final contest of a long road trip, taking a 3-1 advantage after one period.
John MacLean gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead just 34 seconds into the game with his 12th goal of the year. Neal Broten waited patiently behind the net without pressure from the Flyers and fed MacLean, who was coming down the slot.
Brylin boosted the advantage to 2-0 at 1:16. Brian Rolston tried a shot deep in the left faceoff circle. The puck hit the stick of Philadelphia defenseman Jason Bowen and bounced to the slot to Brylin.
Philadelphia came back with Mikael Renberg’s 17th goal at 6:47. Renberg, in the slot, redirected Dimitri Yushkevich’s drive from the point.
Stephane Richer, who has been slowed by a groin pull, collected his team-leading 18th goal at 8:26. Richer poked the puck away from Eric Lindros at center ice, skated deep into the Flyers’ zone, got by defenseman Garry Galley and beat goalkeeper Ron Hextall from a sharp angle.
Philadelphia coach Terry Murray opted to pull Hextall after that goal, replacing him with Dominic Roussel.
Even the Devils power play came to life. Guerin’s 10th goal at 2:37 of the second period increased the lead to 4-1. Three Flyers were caught low in the zone and Brylin spotted Guerin alone in front. The power-play goal was just New Jersey’s second in its last 22 chances.
New Jersey’s penalty-killing unit coughed up its eighth goal in the last 18 chances as the Flyers climbed to 4-2. Yushkevich’s drive from the point got by Martin Brodeur, who was screened, at 6:23 of the second.
New Jersey is 7-0-3 when leading after two periods. Philadelphia is winless (0-9-2) when trailing after 40 minutes.
Renberg’s second goal of the game, at 1:32 of the third, narrowed the margin to 4-3. Lindros picked up the puck along the offensive boards and fed Renberg. Broduer stopped the first shot but Renberg picked up his own rebound.
New Jersey was without forward Claude Lemiuex, who was serving the second game of a three-game suspension for sucker-punching the Islanders’ Brett Lindros on Sunday. Philadelphia defenseman Eric Desjardins missed the game with a slight groin strain.