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Flyers beat Devils again

While most of the city's attention was focused on the World Series game that was scheduled across the street, the Flyers went to work yesterday at the Wachovia Center trying to build momentum off Friday night's season-first win over the New Jersey Devils.

While most of the city's attention was focused on the World Series game that was scheduled across the street, the Flyers went to work yesterday at the Wachovia Center trying to build momentum off Friday night's season-first win over the New Jersey Devils.

In another go-around with the rival Devils, the Flyers showed a similar determination to put their 1-3-3 start in the rearview mirror. With timely scoring and solid defense in front of improving netminder Marty Biron, they triumphed, 3-2, in overtime and swept the home-and-home series.

With 1 minute, 46 seconds to go in the extra session, Jeff Carter was in the right place at the right time. Positioned to the left of goalie Martin Brodeur, he tipped home a blue-line shot by Ossi Vaananen.

"I just kind of turned and tried to get in front of [Brodeur]," Carter said. The stick "kind of slipped out on me. I got it back, just happened to time it perfectly, and got a piece on it.

Of the sweep, left winger Scott Hartnell, who produced a second-period goal, said: "It's a much-needed four points at this time of the season, especially with the way we started out."

Just moments before the winning score, there was another eruption of sorts. A spectator from the opposite side of the benches launched what appeared to be a smoke bomb onto the ice, causing a delay of about five minutes. Both teams had a brief skate-around before play resumed.

"I thought that was kind of weird," right winger Mike Knuble said. "It's the first time I've seen that. In minor-league hockey, they would have fireworks explosions before games, and the ice would water, but I don't know if that was a distraction for them at all. You kind of just have to play through it, and we scored right after that."

Said Vaananen: "I think we put good pressure on them even before the smoke bomb, so I don't think it really even mattered. There were two teams, and it was equal to both. Both teams got a couple of minutes to breathe and focus on the next shift, and I guess we did that better. We got the bounce, and we got the goal, so we're pretty happy."

Possibly as a result of the teams' playing less than 24 hours earlier in Newark, N.J., yesterday's rematch was especially physical and heated. Flyers bruiser Riley Cote, already sporting a shiner under his left eye, was involved in two fights, against Mike Rupp and Friday night adversary Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.

In the second period, while Cote was brawling with Letourneau-Leblond, Flyers winger Arron Asham decided to square off with Rupp. Asham and Rupp were ejected for becoming extra players in a scrum.

Biron, also the winner Friday night, stopped 29 shots.

"I think this was a big confidence-booster for him," Hartnell said. "To get two wins against one of hockey's all-time best goaltenders is big for him and for us."

The Flyers (2-3-3) went ahead, 2-1, at the 9-minute, 40-second mark of the second period on an up-close goal by Hartnell. Just before intermission, the Devils (5-3-0) evened things when right winger Brian Gionta, on a power play, stuffed home a shot past Biron.

Thanks to a goal by Knuble, his second of the season, the Flyers had led, 1-0, after the first period. The Devils' early second-period equalizer came courtesy of Zach Parise.

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