|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|PHI||0||3||1||(0 - 0)||4|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -On the verge of stopping every puck for the second straight game, Martin Biron instead was concerned about the one that might slip into the net.
"Once bounce here or there can turn a game around," he said.
Maybe in another Flyers season. But not against Biron, not now.
Biron made 38 saves in his second straight shutout and Philadelphia proved again it is back as a contender, beating the New Jersey Devils 4-0 on Thursday night.
"Marty played awesome," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "He made some big saves at the right time."
Mike Richards, Sami Kapanen, Jim Dowd and Joffrey Lupul scored for the Flyers, who won their fourth straight.
The chants in the third period started early for Biron, who was sensational again and became the first Flyers goalie to record back-to-back shutouts since Brian Boucher in 2001.
Unlike recent Flyers goalies who failed to live up to their flashes of brilliance, Biron insists he can help carry the team for the long haul.
"You want to work on consistency, you want to work on durability and going for a long time," he said.
The Flyers (5-1) have won the first three games of a four-game homestand and are on their first four-game winning streak since March 2006.
Philadelphia didn't win its fifth game last season until Nov. 16.
Biron has been better than the Flyers expected when they acquired him from Buffalo last season. Stuck as the backup to the Sabres' Ryan Miller, Biron has flourished in Philly and might finally be the answer to the long-standing quagmire in the Flyers net.
"There's no question Marty brings confidence to our hockey team," coach John Stevens. "He's never rattled. You don't see any frustration. It looks like business as usual for him."
Of course, having an offense that scores goals in bunches certainly helps.
Their goal differential of 25-10 leads the NHL and they bumped their lead over the Devils to four points in the Atlantic Division.
The real question might not be how come the Flyers are so good, but how could they have ever been as bad as they were last season when they had the league's worst record.
That doesn't matter now.
Biron looked stout as he stopped every puck, including a nifty smother on John Madden's breakaway at the end of the second.
"I'm not taking anything from the goalie whatsoever, I thought he played well for them," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "But at the same time, we didn't do enough around the net. And yet we played a pretty good hockey game all in all."
Biron barely had any rest against a Devils team that came out firing a night after a 5-4 win at Pittsburgh.
The Flyers seemed content to hold their sticks in the first period rather than use them to shoot. They needed 7 1/2 minutes before they recorded their first shot on goal and had only two in the first.
"That was the plan. Get him cold," center Danny Briere said, chuckling
Then the Flyers got going quickly.
Briere's one-time pass from near the boards found Richards between the circles, and he fired the puck past Brodeur for his fourth goal.
Kapanen made it 2-0 when he streaked down the ice in front of the Flyers bench and took a slap shot that stunned Brodeur for his third goal. It gave Kapanen three goals in three games.
Another habit for the Flyers - barely giving their fans time to celebrate a goal. Dowd, who had two stints with the Devils, scored his first goal with the Flyers only 2:34 later.
The Devils had a late goal called off after it was ruled the puck was kicked into the net.
Lupul's second goal made it 4-0.
The Flyers shut out New Jersey for the first time in the 11-year history of the Wachovia Center. It was the first home shutout against the Devils since they played at the Spectrum in 1987.
Notes: The Flyers recalled F Stefan Ruzicka from the AHL Phantoms. ... F Ben Eager, still experiencing dizzy spells after a hard hit over the weekend, was scratched.
|PPG - Mike Richards (4) Snap shot - ASST: Daniel Brière (5), Mike Knuble (3)|
1 - 0 PHI
|Sami Kapanen (3) Slapshot - ASST: NONE|
2 - 0 PHI
|Jim Dowd (1) Tip-in - ASST: Randy Jones (5)|
3 - 0 PHI
|Joffrey Lupul (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Richards (4)|
4 - 0 PHI
|Lasse Kukkonen Roughing against Patrik Elias|
|Stefan Ruzicka Hooking against Sergei Brylin|
|Arron Asham Boarding against Derian Hatcher|
|Daniel Brière Slashing against Patrik Elias|
|Kimmo Timonen Boarding against Travis Zajac|
|Patrik Elias Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Daniel Brière Holding the stick against John Madden|
|Brian Gionta Roughing against Derian Hatcher|
|David Clarkson Fighting (maj) against Jason Smith|
|Jason Smith Fighting (maj) against David Clarkson|
|David Clarkson Holding against Jason Smith|
|Braydon Coburn Cross checking against Arron Asham|
|Mike Knuble Hooking against Patrik Elias|