After a shaky performance in the New Jersey Devils' home opener, Martin Brodeur tries to bounce back against a team he has dominated lately at Continental Airlines Arena.
Brodeur and the Devils look to win their fifth straight home game over the Philadelphia Flyers when these Atlantic Division foes renew their rivalry on Saturday.
Brodeur matched a career worst by allowing five goals in the second period on Thursday, but he stopped three shots in a shootout after the Devils (2-1-0) came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period en route to a 7-6 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It was a tough game for me but we pulled it out of our hat," said Brodeur, who had not given up five goals in a period since Nov. 14, 1998 at Philadelphia. "Give a lot of credit to the guys for bouncing back. When your goalie doesn't make the saves, it's hard to get up and get going. They proved they have a lot of character."
Brodeur stopped all seven shots he faced in the third period and overtime, moving past Terry Sawchuk into third place on the all-time wins list with 448.
Brian Gionta scored three times in the third period - including the game-tying goal with 37 seconds remaining - to record his first career hat trick. John Madden scored twice and got the game-winner in the shootout.
Thursday's game was uncharacteristic for Brodeur, who went 25-9-2 at Continental Airlines Arena last season with four shutouts.
Brodeur was in net for all four of the Devils' home games against the Flyers last season and won every time, recording one shutout while saving 106-of-109 shots. New Jersey outscored Philadelphia 14-3 in those contests.
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has lost just three times in 19 home games against the Flyers since the 1997-98 season, posting a 1.82 goals-against average. Philadelphia has won only four of its last 22 visits overall to Continental Airlines Arena.
Brodeur was in net for all eight games against Philadelphia last season, going 5-3 with a 1.62 GAA.
The Flyers (1-2-1) lost to Montreal 3-1 on Wednesday, again failing to capitalize on the power play. They wasted all eight power-play opportunities, including an 0-for-4 effort in the first period.
"It is a little frustrating to not put the puck in the net," center Mike Richards said. "We created a lot of chances, but just didn't bury anything."
The Flyers are 3-for-32 with the man advantage this season, and the Devils have allowed just one goal in 12 short-handed situations.
Antero Niittymaki started his third straight game in net on Wednesday, and allowed two goals on 22 shots before the Canadiens scored into an empty net in the final seconds. Niittymaki is 1-1-1 with a 2.62 GAA this season, and even with a torn labrum in his left hip, he seems to have edged out Robert Esche as Philadelphia's No. 1 goalie.
"(Niittymaki) is playing great," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That is what we talked about at the start of the year. Whoever is playing well we've got to go with. He's playing terrific."
Niittymaki is 3-2 with a 2.31 GAA in his career against the Devils.
Captain Peter Forsberg has two goals and three assists this season, and had six points in five games against New Jersey last season.
Simon Gagne leads the Flyers with three goals this season, and scored five in seven games against the Devils last season.
Philadelphia opens a four-game road trip Saturday.
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