NEWARK, N.J. - A day after coming up with 47 saves in his team's win over the Washington Capitals, Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki was back on the ice yesterday. But at the end of another full day of work, it only took one shot by New Jersey's Travis Zajac to beat him.
Zajac's game-winner came at the end of a shoot-out and gave the Devils a 3-2 victory at the Prudential Center.
Regulation ended with the score tied at 2-2. Both teams went scoreless in overtime before the Flyers' Mike Richards and the Devils' Jamie Langenbrunner scored during the shoot-out. Zajac was the fifth New Jersey shooter to take a crack at Niittymaki.
Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen turned away 27 shots in the first three periods and overtime. He made four more saves in the shoot-out.
The Flyers had battled back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period.
"We played back to back, and to come here and be down 2-0 and come back on them was not easy," Flyers coach John Stevens said.
Just over three minutes into the game, the Flyers' Josh Gratton and New Jersey's Mike Rupp dropped the gloves at the Devils' end of the ice after getting tangled up on the boards.
The Flyers killed three penalties in the first period, which ended scoreless.
Patrik Elias put his team up by 1-0 off an assist from Zajac with 12 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
A little over a minute later, the Devils' Brian Rolston slipped into a pack of players in front of the goal and emerged with the puck. He unleashed a hard shot that beat Niittymaki from about 15 feet to put the Flyers down by two goals.
With 2:42 left in the period, the Flyers got on the scoreboard off a power play when Jeff Carter found the net to cut his team's deficit to 2-1. The goal was Carter's 25th, giving him the NHL lead in that category.
A goal by the Flyers' Joffrey Lupul knotted the score with 4:44 left in regulation.
"It was a tough way to start a hockey game," Stevens said. "They get their good players on the ice with their power play. We have to find a way to get started [better]."
Notes. The Flyers' Scottie Upshall suffered a lower body injury in the second period and did not return. . . . Starting goalie Marty Biron dressed for yesterday's contest after sitting out the Flyers' three previous games with the flu. He did not play and is listed as day to day. . . . Niittymaki is 6-1-1 in his last eight starts. . . . Defenseman Randy Jones saw his first action for the Flyers after off-season hip surgery. . . . Lasse Kukkonen, Glen Metropolit and Luca Sbisa were scratched. . . . Yesterday marked the Flyers' sixth time playing on back-to-back days. They are 4-1-1 in the first games and 3-2-1 in the second.
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