NEWARK, N.J. - For the second time in three nights, the Flyers faced the New Jersey Devils. For the second game in a row, the Flyers trailed the Devils by two goals out of the chute.
And for the second game in a row, the Flyers and Devils entered the third period knotted at 2-2.
It had taken the Flyers 5 years to erase a two-goal deficit to New Jersey before they did it on Monday. Now they have done it twice in 3 days.
This time, the Flyers needed 3 minutes and 27 seconds of extra time to top the Devils, 3-2, in overtime in front of 5,580 at the snowed-in Prudential Center in Newark.
Simon Gagne scored his seventh goal of the season on a wrist shot from the high slot to lift the Flyers, who had trailed for a good portion of the game. It was Gagne's first goal in 13 games.
"It's been tough," Gagne said. "I've gotten some chances, but I still haven't been able to score goals. It's been on my mind the whole time. This is definitely going to take that big monkey off my back."
With the win, the Flyers moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. More important, they inched closer to the Devils and Penguins in the Atlantic Division race.
The Flyers are 4-1 against New Jersey this season.
"I think we showed a lot of moxie," Chris Pronger said. "They're a team that loves to play ahead. They play well defensively and shut you down. You're not going to do that to that team too often."
The Flyers were playing catch-up when Travis Zajac lit the lamp for the Devils just 45 seconds into the game. Just 7:16 later, they were in an even deeper hole when Rob Niedermayer banked in a shot off Kimmo Timonen to give New Jersey a two-goal edge not even 10 minutes into the contest.
But the Flyers weren't finished. It took them just 32 seconds to respond to Niedermayer's goal.
Arron Asham woke the Flyers from their snow-induced slumber with a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Martin Brodeur cleanly.
"We had a good cycle going on and then 'G' made a great pass to me," Asham said. "I just basically got it on net and the puck snuck by him."
"That was a huge goal for us," Jeff Carter said. "They scored on the shift before that."
The Flyers almost knotted the game 7 minutes later when Scott Hartnell's shot beat Brodeur. The goalie's reflexes enabled him to just fish the puck away before it went into the net.
After a 5-minute review in the NHL's war room in Toronto, the officials determined there wasn't conclusive video evidence to show the puck over the goal line - even though at least part of it was visible behind the red line.
It was a situation very similar to Gagne's controversial non-goal call in Pittsburgh on Jan. 7. Some replays suggested the puck could be seen through the webbing on Brodeur's glove.
The Flyers wouldn't trail for much longer.
Carter gobbled up a loose puck on the wing and snapped it behind Brodeur for his 24th goal of the season 13:47 into the second.
Just like Monday at the Wachovia Center, the Flyers needed to kill penalties in the third period in order to have a chance to win. Braydon Coburn was whistled for interference and fellow defenseman Matt Carle followed him to the box just 1:35 later, giving the Devils a five-on-three advantage for 25 seconds.
After the Flyers killed off the two-man disadvantage, Patrik Elias negated New Jersey's man edge with a hooking penalty.
Michael Leighton, who stopped 21 of 23 shots overall, kept the Flyers tied.
"We won the battles," Leighton said. "Defensively, they pressured us pretty hard. We knew they were going to give [Ilya] Kovalchuk the puck for one-timers. We didn't give them too much. We know how important these four points were for us."
In two games, Leighton kept Kovalchuk scoreless. He also kept the game tied in the third period, when the Flyers were outshot, 7-1.
"We had a pretty good rest [offensively] there in the third period," Pronger joked. "Maybe we put Marty to sleep."
In overtime, Gagne pursued the puck like a hunter stalking his game. He just missed an empty net on a wraparound when Colin White slid to keep the puck out. But he more than made up for that just a few seconds later when he faked a drop pass to Pronger and put his top-shelf shot behind a screened Brodeur.
"It's not something that we want to make a habit of," Pronger said of the two-goal deficit. "But it was a pretty good test for us to show us what we're made of and where we're going."
It was the eighth time in franchise history the Flyers have posted just one shot in a period, as they did in the third . . . The Flyers were outshot, 23-15 . . . Devils forward Zach Parise (upper-body injury), who scored against the Flyers on Monday night in Philadelphia, was a late scratch . . . No Flyer played fewer than 10 minutes in regulation . . . Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and did not return . . . The Devils offered fans with tickets to last night's game a 50-percent discount on three games in March.
For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers.