The Devils celebrate Gionta's tying goal in the second period.
newjerseydevils.com – The game included four fights, two ejections, 82 penalty minutes and a delay for a smoke condition in overtime.
Unfortunately for New Jersey, the contest didn't include a Devils win, as Jeff Carter's goal at 3:44 of the extra session led the Flyers over the Devils, 3-2, Saturday at Wachovia Center.
Down on his knees at the side of the net, Carter redirected Ossi Vaananen's pass over Martin Brodeur for his sixth goal of the season and second in as many games. Carter's tally clinched a Philadelphia sweep of the home-and-home set following the Flyers' 6-3 victory Friday in Newark.
Parise continued his torrid pace Saturday with his team-leading sixth goal.
The Carter goal came after an object landed on the ice and created a smoke condition in the Devils' end during a play stoppage. The game was held up while the smoke was allowed to clear, and the Devils skated around their zone to stay loose until play resumed.
"It looked like a flare... I didn't really see it, but that's what the guys were saying," Brodeur said. "Your eyes started itching and it was hard breathing. Security has to be tighter. It is what it is. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to get panicked about it, but they have to look into it."
The smoke developed shortly after a Simon Gagne scoring chance in overtime was waved off by referees. Gagne's attempt from the bottom of the right circle bounced up off Brodeur's pads, then hit the crossbar. Brodeur gloved it out of mid-air at the 3:14 mark of overtime, and a video review confirmed that the puck had not crossed the goal line.
Brodeur commented that the smoke situation was a distraction for everyone involved.
"It's unfortunate that you lose the game like that on the next shift, but it was the same [situation] for both teams," he said. "You're focused, you just made a big save. Then you're just standing around for something unusual that's not a part of a hockey game. It takes your head out of it for a bit. But it was the same for everybody, not just us."
The Devils had their best scoring chance of overtime thwarted by Flyers goaltender Martin Biron. Patrik Elias fed a pass from the left boards to a darting Zach Parise in the slot, but Biron lunged forward with the paddle of his goal stick to break up the play just 1:25 into the extra session.
"I did get [the pass] through," Elias said. "It was a good play on [Biron's] part. Zach was watching me, and didn't expect [Biron] to poke it."
Parise and Brian Gionta each scored for the Devils, who tied the contest at 2-2 late in the second period on Gionta's first of the season.
Parise, the Devils' leading scorer with 11 points, extended his goal streak to four games with his team-high sixth of the season. He now has four goals and four assists for eight points in the last four games.
Brodeur made 30 saves in the game but failed to gain ground on Patrick Roy's all-time record of 551 wins. With 543 career victories, the four-time Vezina Trophy winner needs eight to match Roy's mark.
The Devils (5-2-1) gained one point courtesy of the regulation tie, and have picked up at least a point in six of their first eight games. The team will have three days off before hosting Toronto on Wednesday.
New Jersey played Saturday without captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who suffered a lower body injury in Friday's game. Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank made his season debut, and skated at right wing alongside the fourth line of Mike Rupp and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.
Mike Knuble gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 9:42 of the first, stuffing in a wraparound through Brodeur on a second effort. The opening frame also featured the first of four fights in the game, with Rupp using two quick rights to drop Riley Cote at 13:10.
The red-hot Parise has been a major offensive catalyst for the Devils over the last four games, and that trend continued 27 seconds into the middle period, when he deflected Colin White's point shot to tie the game, 1-1.
Parise got his stick free of Kimmo Timonen at the left dot to tip White's floater out of the air and by Biron.
Tensions erupted at 3:15 of the second. Rupp and former Devil Arron Asham were given game misconducts in the second period for fighting after a fight had already started between Letourneau-Leblond and Cote (Rule 47.7).
Six and a half minutes later, Scott Hartnell scored off Braydon Coburn's rebound to restore the Flyers' lead at 2-1 at 9:40.
Later, Brookbank and Hartnell accounted for the fourth fight of the afternoon, with the Devils' converted forward scoring a takedown at 12:25.
A holding penalty to Andrew Alberts presented a chance for New Jersey to draw even, and the power play produced the Devils' second goal.
Mike Mottau skated the puck out of the Devils' end and through the neutral zone for a dump-in into Flyers territory. Zubrus retrieved in the right corner and fed Gionta at the bottom of the right circle for a backhand over Biron with 1:43 left in the second.
Gionta's goal extended his point streak to three games (1g-2a-3pts), while Zajac's assist on Parise's tally stretched his streak to three (1g-4a-5pts).
Rule 47.7Fighting After the Original Altercation - A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who is assessed a major penalty for fighting after the original altercation.