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Philadelphia at New Jersey

Three-goal flurry pushes Devils past Flyers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils followed their worst loss of the season with one of their best efforts.

Veteran Dainius Zubrus scored his first two goals of the season and rookie Rodney Pelley got the first of his career in a three-goal flurry to help New Jersey beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night.

"We responded in the right way," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "There was a lot of emotion tonight on our end. I thought we were mentally strong the whole game."

After a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Pittsburgh on Monday night, Sutter put players through grueling practices Tuesday and Wednesday. He has not been shy about publicly criticizing players in the season's early weeks as the defending Atlantic Division champions limped to a 5-7-2 record.

For one night at least, the tough love worked.

Playing like the Devils of old, New Jersey choked off Philadelphia's attack and outshot the Flyers 39-14. Martin Brodeur was barely tested by the Flyers, who were playing the final game of an eight-game road trip.

"We came out flat from the get-go," Flyers defenseman Mike Richards said. "They turned the puck over a lot with their forechecking and we didn't match their intensity. We didn't have our legs out there, but you have to battle through that and we didn't."

New Jersey signed Zubrus in July to help fill the void created by Scott Gomez's departure to the New York Rangers, but the 11-year veteran had managed only six assists in the first 14 games.

While Sutter praised Zubrus' work ethic, the effort wasn't translating into goals until Thursday.

"Obviously it hurts your confidence a little bit and it's in the back of your mind, but you know the goals are going to come," Zubrus said. "Playing in the league for 11 years, you just try to bring a consistent effort every night and not get too high or too low."

Zubrus and Brian Gionta scored within 18 seconds of each other in the first period after spotting Philadelphia a 1-0 lead, and Zubrus scored late in the period to give New Jersey a 3-1 lead.

The struggling Devils entered the contest having won only two of their past eight games, but found their offensive rhythm and equaled their combined goals for the last three games with Pelley's score.

Pelley's goal early in the second period sent Flyers goaltender Martin Biron to the bench. The last time the teams met on Oct. 18, Biron shut out the Devils 4-0.

Mike Knuble scored for the Flyers, who played without left winger Simon Gagne, who was scratched after complaining of dizziness and headaches stemming from a hit by Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts on Wednesday night.

With New Jersey trailing 1-0 after Knuble's power-play goal, Gionta picked up a loose puck to the left of Biron and scored with 5:32 left in the period.

The puck went into the Flyers' end off the faceoff and, after a shot from between the circles by Jay Pandolfo, Zubrus stuffed the rebound past Biron with 5:14 left. He scored again with 29 seconds left in the period on a high wrister that hit Biron's shoulder and fell behind him.

The scoring burst began not long after the Devils heard boos from the crowd at the new Prudential Center for wasting a four-minute power play with Philadelphia's Riley Cote off for high-sticking Patrik Elias and drawing blood from the face of the Devils forward.

Notes

  • Gagne missed four games earlier in the season with dizziness after a check by Florida's Jay Bouwmeester on Oct. 24.
  • Philadelphia recalled forward Stefan Ruzicka from the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL.
  • D Karel Rachunek returned after missing four games because of a groin injury.
  • New Jersey's Arron Asham and Cote squared off in the first period, with Asham absorbing some shots before scoring a clean takedown.
  • The Flyers fell to 7-1 this season when scoring first
  • The crowd looked considerably smaller than the announced 14,948 in the Devils' fifth game at the new Prudential Center.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Rookie Rodney Pelley celebrates his first NHL goal, which helps the Devils cruise at home.  (Getty Images)
Rookie Rodney Pelley celebrates his first NHL goal, which helps the Devils cruise at home. (Getty Images)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Philadelphia (8-6-0)1001
New Jersey  (6-7-2) «3104
Three Stars
D. Zubrus
NJ


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
B. Gionta
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Pelley
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
12:20Power Play - Mike Knuble (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul
14:28Brian Gionta (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Karel Rachunek, Travis Zajac
14:46Dainius Zubrus (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Jay Pandolfo, Paul Martin
19:30Dainius Zubrus (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: David Clarkson, Johnny Oduya
2ND PERIOD
02:48Rod Pelley (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Sergei Brylin
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:30Pandolfo, 2 min, Tripping
07:13Cote, 4 min, High-Sticking
11:52Parise, 2 min, High-Sticking
15:08Cote, 5 min, Fighting
15:08Asham, 5 min, Fighting
16:50Upshall, 2 min, Cross-Checking
16:50Brylin, 2 min, Cross-Checking
2ND PERIOD
45.0Rachunek, 2 min, Hooking
06:31Kukkonen, 2 min, Hooking
10:25Brookbank, 5 min, Fighting
10:25Eager, 5 min, Fighting
18:07Lupul, 2 min, Cross-Checking
19:51Gionta, 2 min, Slashing
3RD PERIOD
04:35Fitzpatrick, 2 min, Hooking
06:46Rachunek, 2 min, Interference
13:02Ruzicka, 2 min, Interference
16:51Pelley, 2 min, Roughing
19:35Rupp, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Philadelphia62614
New Jersey1416939
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Biron22:48114
Antero Niittymaki37:12240
Martin Brodeur60:00131
Game Information
Attendance - 14948
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Scott Driscoll
 
Other Games
Pitt 2 Final
NYR 4
Wash 4 Final
Ott 1
Van 3 Final
Cal 2
TB 5 Final
Car 1
Mon 2 Final
Bos 1
Dal 2 Final
Pho 5