GAME: New Jersey Devils (15-5-7-0) at Philadelphia Flyers (17-3-8-1).
The league-leading Philadelphia Flyers look to remain unbeaten on home ice as they host the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils in the back end of a home-and-home series.
Philadelphia battled New Jersey to a 3-3 tie at Continental Airlines Arena on Friday night, rallying from an early two-goal deficit to cap an unbeaten four-game road trip (1-0-3).
Now, the Flyers return home looking to complete the second-longest home winning streak in franchise history.
The Flyers have won 11 straight at Wachovia Center, their best run at home since 1985. Philadelphia won a team record 20 in a row at the Spectrum in 1976.
Sami Kapanen scored a goal and set up two others and Keith Primeau scored the tying goal with seven minutes to play.
"It was actually a nice reprieve to have back-to-back games with this kind of intensity during a monotonous 82-game schedule," said Primeau.
"It makes for a lot of excitement. We've been looking forward to both these games for a couple of weeks. Tonight was a lot of fun."
Donald Brashear also scored for the Flyers, who are 13-1-5 in their last 19 games overall.
Jay Pandolfo, Scott Niedermayer and Patrik Elias scored for the Devils, who are equally impressive of late, going 13-2-5 in their last 20 games.
"It was pretty exciting to play and to watch," said Elias, who staked New Jersey to a 3-2 lead early in the third period. "It had everything."
Philadelphia leads the second-place Devils by six points in the Atlantic Division.
There is bound to be some bad blood Saturday after a scrum late in overtime in front of the Devils net. Martin Brodeur made a nice save on Tony Amonte, who took an extra swipe at the rebound. Brodeur then hit him in the head.
"We needed to have a game like that to have an exciting game tomorrow," Brodeur said. "There is going to be carry over. Definitely this is the push to see who is going to get the series."
STANDINGS: Devils - 37 points, 2nd place, 6 PB, Atlantic Division. Flyers - 43 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Elias, 9 goals, 15 assists and 24 points; Turner Stevenson, 36 PIM. Flyers - Mark Recchi, 12 goals; Jeremy Roenick, 16 assists and 26 points; Todd Fedoruk, 61 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 11): Flyers - Power play: 24.1 percent (27 for 112), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.4 percent (111 for 127), 3rd. Devils - Power play: 14.6 percent (15 for 103), 21st. Penalty killing: 89.2 percent (83 for 93), 1st.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (15-5-6, 6 SO, 1.53 GAA); Corey Schwab (0-0-1, 0, 0.92). Flyers - Jeff Hackett (9-2-6, 3, 1.71); Antero Nittymaki (no appearances).
SEASON SERIES: Devils, 1-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 12; Tie, 3-3, OT. At New Jersey, Brodeur stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced, but the Flyers rebounded from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 6-1-4-0 on the road; Flyers - 12-0-2-0 at home.
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