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Carter Helps Flyers Past Devils

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia, PA – Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Antero Niittymaki stopped all 20 shots he faced through two periods as the Flyers defeated the New Jersey Devils in preseason action at the Wachovia Center, 2-1.

The Flyers opened the scoring with Carter's second goal in as many nights. It was Mike Richards who did most of the work, however, skating around the net and feeding Carter in front for an easy tip-in at 4:05 of the first period on a five-on-three power play.

Philadelphia's penalty killing unit was put to the test later in the frame when New Jersey had a two-man advantage of its own for 1:42 after penalties to Joni Pitkanen and Petr Nedved, but could not capitalize.

The game remained scoreless until 3:50 left in the second. Pitkanen found Carter in front of the net, and Carter's attempt was tipped high into the air before Simon Gagne slid it along the ice inside the post past goaltender Frank Doyle for another power play goal.

Doyle had replaced Martin Brodeur midway through the game for the Devils.

Philadelphia finished the night 2-9 with the man advantage while New Jersey was 0-for-5.

Martin Houle replaced Niittymaki at the start of the third period, as he did for Robert Esche a night earlier. Houle allowed a goal to David Clarkson with 3:01 left in regulation, but the Flyers held on.

Niittymaki says that the competition between him and Esche for playing time can only benefit the team.

"You have two goalies who are fighting for a job so you have to play well all of the time if you want to play so that is really good for the team," he said.

Newcomer Lars Jonsson played in his first game as a Flyers and assisted on the first goal.

"He brings an element that is necessary in the league, but he brings an element that our team needs," said Ken Hitchcock. "He is great on the power play, he does things not a lot of players can do with the way he's able to move and keep his head up and find open people offensively."

"It's a great competition, there's a lot of good players both who played for the Flyers last year and a lot of young guys coming up too. It's a good competition and that's good for the team and I am ready to take the battle," said Jonsson.

The Flyers remain home for a preseason matchup with the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night (7:00 p.m., 610 WIP).

New Jersey hosts Philadelphia on Sep. 28 at Continental Airlines Arena.

Notable scratches for the Flyers included Esche, Nolan Baumgartner, Mark Cullen, Niko Dimitrakos, Peter Forsberg, Denis Gauthier and Marty Murray. The Wachovia Center debuted its brand new widescreen scoreboard during the game.
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