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Philadelphia
Flyers
42-29-11
New Jersey
Devils
46-29-7

14 SOG
39 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PHI
NJD
game recap

Devils 4, Flyers 1

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:33 AM

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -The New Jersey Devils followed their worst loss of the season with one of their best efforts.

Veteran Dainius Zubrus scored his first two goals of the season and rookie Rodney Pelley got the first of his career in a three-goal flurry to help New Jersey beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night.

"We responded in the right way," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "There was a lot of emotion tonight on our end. I thought we were mentally strong the whole game."

After Monday night's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Pittsburgh, Sutter put players through grueling practices Tuesday and Wednesday. He has not been shy about publicly criticizing players in the season's early weeks as the defending Atlantic Division champions limped to a 5-7-2 record.

For one night at least, the tough love worked.

Playing like the Devils of old, New Jersey choked off Philadelphia's attack and outshot the Flyers 39-14. Martin Brodeur was barely tested by the Flyers, who were playing the final game of an eight-game road trip.

"We came out flat from the get-go," said Flyers defenseman Mike Richards. "They turned the puck over a lot with their forechecking and we didn't match their intensity. We didn't have our legs out there, but you have to battle through that and we didn't."

New Jersey signed Zubrus in July to help fill the void created by Scott Gomez' departure to the New York Rangers, but the 11-year veteran had managed only six assists in the first 14 games.

While Sutter praised Zubrus' work ethic, the effort wasn't translating into goals until Thursday.

"Obviously it hurts your confidence a little bit and it's in the back of your mind, but you know the goals are going to come," Zubrus said. "Playing in the league for 11 years, you just try to bring a consistent effort every night and not get too high or too low."

Zubrus and Brian Gionta scored within 18 seconds of each other in the first period after spotting Philadelphia a 1-0 lead, and Zubrus scored late in the period to give New Jersey a 3-1 lead.

The struggling Devils entered the game having won just two of their last eight games, but found their offensive rhythm and equaled their combined goals for the last three games with Pelley's score.

Pelley's goal early in the second period sent Flyers goaltender Martin Biron to the bench. The last time the teams met on Oct. 18, Biron shut out the Devils 4-0.

Mike Knuble scored for the Flyers, who played without left winger Simon Gagne, scratched after complaining of dizziness and headaches stemming from a hit by Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts Wednesday night.

With New Jersey trailing 1-0 after Knuble's power-play goal, Gionta picked up a loose puck to the left of Biron and scored with 5:32 left in the period.

The puck went into the Flyers' end off the faceoff and, after a shot from between the circles by Jay Pandolfo, Zubrus stuffed the rebound past Biron with 5:14 left. He scored again with 29 seconds left in the period on a high wrister that hit Biron's shoulder and fell behind him.

The scoring burst began not long after the Devils heard boos from the crowd at the new Prudential Center for wasting a four-minute power play with Philadelphia's Riley Cote off for high-sticking Patrik Elias and drawing blood from the face of the Devils forward.

Notes: Gagne missed four games earlier in the season with dizziness after a check by Florida's Jay Bouwmeester on Oct. 24 ... Philadelphia recalled forward Stefan Ruzicka from the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL ... D Karel Rachunek returned after missing four games because of a groin injury ... Devils' Arron Asham and Cote squared off in the first period, with Asham absorbing some shots before scoring a clean takedown ... The Flyers fell to 7-1 this season when scoring first ... The crowd looked considerably smaller than the announced 14,948 in the Devils' fifth game of the season at the Prudential Center.

scoring summary
1st Period
12:20
PHI
PPG - Mike Knuble (4) Snap shot - ASST: Mike Richards (7), Joffrey Lupul (8)
1 - 0 PHI
14:28
NJD
Brian Gionta (4) Snap shot - ASST: Karel Rachunek (2), Travis Zajac (5)
1 - 1 Tie
14:46
NJD
Dainius Zubrus (1) Snap shot - ASST: Jay Pandolfo (4), Paul Martin (8)
2 - 1 NJD
19:30
NJD
Dainius Zubrus (2) Wrist shot - ASST: David Clarkson (4), Johnny Oduya (2)
3 - 1 NJD
2nd Period
02:48
NJD
Rod Pelley (1) Backhand shot - ASST: Sergei Brylin (2)
4 - 1 NJD
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
03:30
NJD
Jay Pandolfo  Tripping against  Jason Smith
07:13
PHI
Riley Cote  Hi stick - double minor against  Patrik Elias
11:52
NJD
Zach Parise  Hi-sticking against  Kimmo Timonen
15:08
NJD
Arron Asham  Fighting (maj) against  Riley Cote
15:08
PHI
Riley Cote  Fighting (maj) against  Arron Asham
16:50
PHI
Scottie Upshall  Cross checking against  Sergei Brylin
16:50
NJD
Sergei Brylin  Cross checking against  Jason Smith
2nd Period
00:45
NJD
Karel Rachunek  Hooking against  Lasse Kukkonen
06:31
PHI
Lasse Kukkonen  Hooking against  Sergei Brylin
10:25
PHI
Ben Eager  Fighting (maj) against  Sheldon Brookbank
10:25
NJD
Sheldon Brookbank  Fighting (maj) against  Ben Eager
18:07
PHI
Joffrey Lupul  Cross checking against  Karel Rachunek
19:51
NJD
Brian Gionta  Slashing against  Scottie Upshall
3rd Period
04:35
PHI
Rory Fitzpatrick  Hooking against  Zach Parise
06:46
NJD
Karel Rachunek  Interference against  Mike Richards
13:02
PHI
Stefan Ruzicka  Interference against  Andy Greene
16:51
NJD
Rod Pelley  Roughing against  Mike Richards
19:35
NJD
Mike Rupp  Hooking against  Joffrey Lupul
goalie stats
Antero Niittymaki
SA: 24TOI: 37:12
Saves: 24EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Martin Biron
SA: 15TOI: 22:48
Saves: 11EV: 6 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .733SH: 2 - 2
Martin Brodeur
SA: 14TOI: 60:00
Saves: 13EV: 7 - 7
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .929SH: 1 - 1