Flyers Flog The Devils

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson appears before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Friday, March 16, 2007, in Washington. The committee is investigating whether White House officials followed appropriate procedures for safeguarding the identity of the former CIA agent. GETTY IMAGES/Mark Wilson

Bill Barber's first week behind Philadelphia's bench was a rousing success.

After replacing fired coach Craig Ramsay, Barber has led the Flyers to a 2-0-2 mark, including a 6-3 victory Saturday night over the Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.

Simon Gagne scored twice and Daymond Langkow and Rick Tocchet had a goal and two assists each for the Flyers, who tied Colorado the NHL's top team and beat the Devils in successive games.

"I think we showed the last couple of games, we can play against one of the best teams in the league," Gagne said. "Tonight, except for the second period, we dominated the game and proved that."

It was the first meeting in Philadelphia between the clubs since New Jersey rallied from a 3-1 deficit in last season's Eastern Conference finals winning two of the final three games on the Flyers' home ice.

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  • "I don't think anything replaces a playoff series like last year," said Flyers center Keith Primeau, who left in the second period with back spasms. "I think it just elevates rivalries. You always want to go at each other's throats"

    The teams combined for 96 penalty minutes, including a misconduct and game misconduct against New Jersey's Colin White, who instigated one of the game's four fights.

    "We took some unnecessary penalties, no question about it," defenseman Ken Daneyko said of the 60 minutes called against the Devils. "We still have to be more careful.

    "I didn't know the Philadelphia Flyers were that clean," he added sarcastially.

    Ruslan Fedotenko and Chris McAllister also scored for the Flyers, who snapped a five-game regular-season winless streak (0-4-1) against the Devils. The teams tied 1-1 earlier this season.

    "It's a good rivalry, let's not kid ourselves," Barber said. "We have to make a stand here that we're not going to take a backward step. We'll grit it out with anybody."

    Gagne leads the Flyers with 13 goals and McAllister snapped a 94-game scoring drought, dating to Dec. 6, 1999. The duo scored 21 seconds apart late in the third period as Philadelphia extended its lead to 6-3.

    Alexander Mogilny scored twice and Patrik Elias added his 13th goal for New Jersey.

    Mogilny gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 1:16 after the opening faceoff and on the game's first shot.

    The Flyers recovered to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. After New Jersey took the first three shots, the Flyers outshot the Devils 13-5 the remainder of the first.

    "We took over the third period and we took the first too," Tocchet said.

    Langkow made it 1-1 at 10:48 on a rush into the New Jersey zone. Goalie Martin Brodeur came out to the bottom of the left circle as Langkow ripped a shot past him.

    The lead grew to 3-1 on goals by Tocchet and Fedotenko 50 seconds apart. Tocchet took a pass from behind the net and scored his fourth of the season at 18:07. Fedotenko scored his fourth, finishing a passing exchange with Mark Recchi.

    Gagne made it 4-1 at 5:24 of the second, taking a pass from Tocchet right after Gagne came off the bench.

    "We had a lot of chances," Devils defenseman Scott Stevens said. "But they got a couple of quick ones and made the difference."

    New Jersey closed to two goals, with the teams skating 4-on-4. Elias took a pass from Jason Arnott, who stripped Flyers defenseman Eric Desjardins of the puck in front of his own net.

    Mogilny's second of the night and 11th this season came with 2:43 left in the second.

    Philadelphia center Kent Manderville played his 100th consecutive regular-season game without a goal, but nearly scored twice.

    Manderville fired a shot that got through Brodeur's legs, but struck the far right post. Later, he put in a rebound but the whistle had sounded for a New Jersey penalty.

    "If I ever go to Atlantic City, I'm not going with him," Tocchet said.

    Notes

  • Stevens, who gve former Flyers C Eric Lindros his last concussion, was booed throughout the night.
  • Mogilny's first goal, in New Jersey's 31st game, was the 100th scored by the Devils this season. It is the fastest they have reached the mark since the 1993-94 season (29 games).
  • Manderville, who also failed to score in last season's playoffs, hasn't had a goal since Oct. 2, 1999. He assisted on McAllister's goal, but owes him an appetizer as payment of a bet as to who would score first.
  • New Jersey held a 33-26 shots advantage.


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