Devils 3, Flyers 2 (F/OT)
Parise was denied on this wraparound attempt just before burying his 14th of the season.
The Devils have been tough to beat since Patrik Elias
started dominating the scoresheet.
Elias continued to lead the Devils with his offense Thursday, scoring the tying goal with 1:30 left in regulation and notching the winning tally in overtime to send New Jersey to a 3-2 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia.
, who also netted his team-leading 14th of the season, set up the winner with a pass from the right half boards to a rushing Elias in the high slot. Elias then split Ossi Vaananen and Andrew Alberts before tucking a backhander through Martin Biron at 2:46.
Elias tied Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin for the league record of 15 overtime winners, and now has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in his last eight games. The Devils rebounded from Saturday's loss in Pittsburgh to pick up their sixth triumph in seven contests.
Scottie Upshall's power-play goal put the Flyers up 2-1 with under five minutes left in regulation, but a critical New Jersey penalty kill with Brian Gionta off for hooking allowed the Devils to tie it.
Eleven seconds after Gionta's minor had expired, he dug out a Flyer turnover from the left corner and fed Elias at the top of the left circle for a blast through Biron's pads at 18:30. Elias registered his ninth and 10th goals of the campaign.
"It definitely was [a big win]," Parise said. "We responded well after we gave up that late goal. I thought we played hard all night. We played smart."
Scott Clemmensen (5-3-0) made his fourth straight start and posted 29 saves as the Devils beat the Flyers for the first time in three meetings this season. The last time the two teams met, it was Philadelphia that came away with a 3-2 OT decision.
New Jersey grabbed two important points to move ahead of Carolina into sole possession of seventh place in the East. With their fourth win in nine divisional games (4-4-1), the Devils closed to within two points of the Flyers for third place in the Atlantic.
The Devils wrap up their stretch of five road games Saturday in Montreal, then return to New Jersey for three contests in four nights beginning Wednesday versus the Penguins.
Besides the win, the other good news for the Devils Thursday featured the returns of Brian Rolston
and John Madden. Rolston was back in the lineup after missing 18 games with a sprained ankle. Madden had been sidelined for the previous four games with a sore foot.
They wound up on a line together, with Madden centering Rolston on the right side and Jay Pandolfo skating the left side. The lines of Elias-Dainius Zubrus-Gionta and Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner remained intact, and David Clarkson
moved to a line with Mike Rupp and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond
Clarkson would have two fights in the contest, dropping with former Devil Arron Asham in the first period, and Andrew Alberts in the second.
After a scoreless first period, the Flyers, who entered action with the league's second-best power play on home ice (30.8%), connected on the man advantage.
Kimmo Timonen intercepted Bryce Salvador
's clearing attempt at the left point, and ripped a slapper through traffic that made it 1-0 at 6:48. Timonen's unassisted tally was his third of the season.
The Devils drew even on Parise's goal late in the second.
Langenbrunner passed from the bottom of the right circle to Parise behind the net. Parise stepped around the left post for a backhand try that Biron stopped but couldn't control.
Parise collected and tried the other side of the net, putting a wraparound on Biron just off the right post, then followed up his own shot to lift one over a goalmouth pile-up with 2:43 left in the middle frame.
Upshall's power-play goal from the right side of the net was a centering attempt for Mike Knuble in the slot. The puck deflected off Salvador's stick and into the net to make it 2-1 at 15:32.
The Flyers finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage, while the Devils misfired on three chances.
Gionta extended his points streak to eight games (5g-6a)... Called up Wednesday from Lowell, defenseman Jay Leach had 20 shifts for 15:09 of total ice time... Letourneau-Leblond, who missed time with a nasal fracture, saw his first action with New Jersey since Oct. 25 (seven shifts, 4:53 TOI)... The Devils handed the Flyers just their fifth loss in games when Philly has scored first (11-1-4).
|Three star selections