(Philadelphia, PA, December 2) – Brad Lukowich scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game late and the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout on Saturday night at the Wachovia Center, 4-3.
The Flyers led 3-2 when Mike Richards drew a slashing call on Paul Martin with 2:49 left in the game. A shorthanded rush by New Jersey led to Lukowich taking a pass and skating to the top of the circle before his wrist shot found the back of the net at 17:48.
Zach Parise and Brian Gionta scored in the shootout while Simon Gagne and Petr Nedved failed on their chances to give the Devils the extra point in the standings.
"It's unfortunate it got to that point and we ended up losing a point to a team in our division," said John Stevens after the game.
Mike Knuble broke a 2-2 tie early in the third on the power play. His slap shot from the high slot got past Martin Brodeur low to the stick side just 24 seconds into the period.
That increased Knuble's goal-scoring streak to four games and his point streak to six games (5g, 1a).
"We got an opportune goal at the start of the third period, but it's unfortunate that it was a simple missed assignment on that tying goal there. This was a game we should win," said Stevens.
The game also marked the return of Todd Fedoruk, who wasted little time in making his presence felt.
On his first shift since being reacquired by the club on November 13, and after sitting out since then with facial injuries, Fedoruk tipped a backhanded feed from Boyd Kane past Brodeur at 1:37 to put Philadelphia on the board.
"It's few and far between for a guy like me to put a couple pucks in the net," said Fedoruk, who scored his first of the season. "It's a really nice feeling. It was a textbook start for what I wanted to have happen here tonight."
Brodeur's fantastic glove save on R.J. Umberger with less than 12 minutes left in the first period kept it 1-0, but Fedoruk set up the Flyers' second goal later in the frame. Randy Jones got open between the circles and Fedoruk found him before Jones lifted a perfect wrist shot to the top corner of the net at 17:08.
Fedoruk also provided the best hit of the game, when he bowled over New Jersey's Colin White early in the game.
The Flyers do not play again until next Friday, December 8, when they again face the Devils in New Jersey.
"I thought we played a pretty good team game, and we got to build off of that," said Jones. "We've got a few days off and we have to regroup and be ready to play these guys on Friday."
The Devils responded, however, with the next two goals to tie the game. They got on the board with just over two minutes left in the first period, when a centering pass by Parise went off of Joni Pitkanen's skate and through Antero Niittymaki.
Pitkanen returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a sore left hip flexor.
New Jersey was able to tie the game with seven minutes left in the second period. After the Flyers failed to convert on their second power play of the game, Patrik Elias' wrist shot went off of Niittymaki and trickled over the line.
The Devils went on their first power play shortly after tying the game, but it was the Flyers that had the best scoring chance. Gagne found Knuble skating alone on net, but Knuble's attempt was stopped by the pad of Brodeur and the game remained 2-2 at the second intermission.
FLYERS NOTES Peter Forsberg did not play due to the flu. … Geoff Sanderson missed his second straight game with a mild groin strain. … Umberger played in his 100th game in the NHL.