NEWARK NJ - JANUARY 06: Head coach Jacques Lemaire of the New Jersey Devils instructs his players during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on January 6 2011 in Newark New Jersey. The Flyers defeated the Devils 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Devils Can't Find Their Offense, Lose 2-1

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Flyers 2, Devils 1

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Brian Boucher stopped 34-of-35 shots and Danny Briere netted the game-winner in the first period as Philadelphia edged New Jersey, 2-1, in the back end of a home-and-home set between these clubs.

James van Riemsdyk also tallied for the Flyers, who won in Newark on Thursday and have taken four of their last five overall.

Philadelphia hit the midway point of its season at 26-10-5 for 57 points.

“I think the first period was probably our best period of the three,” Briere said. “These afternoon games are always a little tougher to get into it seems. The most important part is that we found a way to win especially winning back to back against the Devils.”

Andy Greene posted the lone offense for the Devils, who have lost four in a row and 15 of their last 17 since the start of December.

Johan Hedberg started and suffered the loss, pulled after giving up two goals on 10 shots in almost 15 minutes. Martin Brodeur finished the contest by failing to allow a score on 19 shots.

New Jersey fell to 10-29-2 at its own midway point, worst since going 8-30-2 in 1983-84 during an 80-game schedule.

“You know, they really tried to get back and tie it at the end,” said Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire, whose club fell to 1-7 under his watch. “We did a lot of good things. The guys never stopped. This is what we’re working on. It would be nice to get a point just to feel good about our work but it didn’t happen.”

Briere put the home team up 2-0 on a power play at 14:41 of the first period, gathering in a Claude Giroux pass and banking a shot from along the goal line off Hedberg’s shoulder. Brodeur was summoned from the bench, but the payoff didn’t come until the next period.

New Jersey got on the board at 8:07 of the second, when Greene’s harmless shot from the left point deflected off Ville Leino’s skate, bounced in the air and landed in the net behind Boucher.

Boucher kept on an even keel, stopping the other 11 Devils chances in the second. He then made two improbable stops with 4:13 to play, as Vladimir Zharkov had two open chances from the top of the crease on an open net, but failed to lift the puck above the Flyer netminder’s outstretched right pad.

The Devils skated 6-on-5 for the final 1:19 of regulation, and Boucher had to fend off a goalmouth scramble on a partial breakaway from Dainius Zubrus with 15 seconds remaining to preserve the win.

In a 4-on-4 situation, the Flyers jumped on the board as van Riemsdyk curled away from Devils defenseman Colin White on the left wing and slid a shot between Hedberg’s pads at 8:13 of the opening period.

“Yeah, it’s always fun to play these guys,” said van Riemsdyk, a New Jersey native. “I grew up watching them a lot, they’re a tough team to beat, and they’ve been consistently good over the past 10-15 years so I guess our win is pretty big.”

The Flyers have won three of four over the Devils this season and have taken eight of 10 since the start of last year…It is the club’s best mid-point record since going 27-8-6 in 2005-06…Prior to the game, the Flyers assigned defenseman Danny Syvret to Adirondack of the AHL…Vice President Joe Biden and his wife were in attendance…New Jersey has lost 11 straight on the road since November 3 at Chicago…Philadelphia begins a four-game road trip at Buffalo on Tuesday.


New Jersey Devils At Philadelphia Flyers: Devils Trying To Avoid Sweep By Flyers In Home-And-Home

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for a home-and-home sweep of an Atlantic Division rival today, when they host the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers improved to 2-0 in the 2011 calendar year with a victory Thursday evening in New Jersey. Philadelphia has dominated the Devils recently, winning five of six and eight of the last 10 meetings and that doesn't include last season's Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup, which the Flyers won in five games.

New Jersey, which is last in the NHL with 22 points, has also dropped five straight, seven of eight and eight of its last 11 regular-season games in Philadelphia.

The Flyers posted a 4-2 victory over the Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday as Scott Hartnell andDanny Briere each scored two goals. The win helped Philadelphia complete its five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record.

Ville Leino added three assists and Brian Boucher improved to 9-4-2 on the year with an 18-save performance.Matt Carle also record a pair of assists in the win.

"It was kind of an interesting game," said Boucher. "Not much going on and then we catch a big break off the boards to get us going."

That lucky break Boucher referred to resulted in Philly's first goal of the game and it tied the score at 1-1 with 4:15 left in the second period. Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg left his net in an attempt to track down a dump-in from Leino, but the puck caromed back into the slot for Hartnell, who buried the gift for his first goal of the game.

"These boards are lively," Hartnell said. "All night you see it was taking weird bounces. I don't know if Ville did it on purpose but it wound up kicking right past Hedberg. I just had to put it in the open net."

The score was tied at 2-2 by the end of the second period, after a New Jersey goal from David Clarkson and Hartnell's second tally, but Briere scored twice in the third period to deliver the win for Philly.

Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus provided the offense for the Devils, who dropped their third straight game and suffered their ninth defeat in 10 outings. Hedberg allowed all four goals on 20 shots in the loss.

"Any bounce that could not go our way has been happening," Clarkson lamented.

New Jersey lost without the services of its captain, Jamie Langenbrunner, who was a healthy scratch due to trade rumors prior to Thursday's game. As it turns out those were more than rumors, as Langenbrunner was dealt to Dallas Friday morning in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

The 35-year-old Langenbrunner was originally drafted by Dallas and played his first six and a half season with the Stars before being dealt to New Jersey during the 2001-02 campaign. He had been the Devils' captain since December 2007.

Langenbrunner posted just four goals and 14 points in 31 games this season for the struggling Devils, who are off to their worst start in more than 25 years and are apparently beginning a salary purge.

The Devils have a dreadful 4-15-0 record as the road club this year and they've lost 10 straight away from home, tying the second-longest road skid in franchise history. The club record of 12 straight road losses was set from Oct. 19-Dec. 1, 1983.

New Jersey's last win as the guest was back on Nov. 3 in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the Flyers haven't played on home ice since getting dealt an embarrassing 5-0 loss by Florida on Dec. 20. Philly, which will begin a four- game road trip Tuesday in Buffalo, is 12-6-2 as the host this season.

Flyers winger Nikolay Zherdev has missed the last two games with a lower-body issue and is questionable for today's contest. With 13 goals this season, Zherdev is one of six Philadelphia skaters with 10 goals or more.

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