1. MISSED OPPORTUNITY Danny Briere was clear in his post-game media scrums - not converting on the two power-plays in overtime cost them Game 3… The Flyers didn't produce a shot on net in their first man advantage, while the Devils produced two shots… On their second and final power-play, the Flyers produced one shot but still came away empty handed… Moments later Alexei Ponikarovsky came down the ice on a 2 on 1, followed his own rebound and recorded the game-winner for New Jersey.
2. BRIERE KEEPS GOING Danny Briere once again was a key factor in Game 3 with a goal and an assist… Briere assisted on the first goal of the night, helping set up Brayden Schenn on the power-play, while also recording the game-tying goal with nice hand-eye coordination by the side of the net just past the midway point of the period... Briere had three shots on net, won 69 percent of faceoffs he took and played in 26:21 of ice-time.
3. DEVILS' TWO STEP After falling victim to the first goal for the second straight game, the Devils gained a 2-1 lead in quick fashion… Patrik Elias fired a shot from just outside the right circle on the power play that tied the game up 12:33 into the first period, while 20 seconds later Ilya Kovalchuck, who returned to the lineup after missing Game 2 due to a lower body injury, was sprung free by Travis Zajac and buried an opportunity from the hash-marks to give the Devils the lead after the first period.
4. COUTURIER LEAVES IN THE FIRST Flyers rookie forward Sean Couturier appeared in the first period but did not come out on the bench for the second period… It was announced that he had a lower-body injury and would NOT return after appearing in just 3:59 of ice time and just five shifts… As a result, the Flyers were forced to shorten their bench as seven players on the team appeared in over 25 minutes of ice time.
5. LAVY'S TAKE Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette remarks on how the Flyers need to go back to keeping it simple on their power-play:
"We weren't successful on them. We had our best success keeping it simple out there with the power play looking to establish a shot and we either didn't find the shot or couldn't get the movement needed to get the shot."
The Flyers go to 2-1 on the playoff season in overtime games. They are now 36-38 all time in playoff OT games. The Flyers have not won three consecutive playoff games in overtime in the same playoff season since 2000. This was the first time in five occasions that the Flyers have lost a playoff game in overtime to New Jersey.
Danny Briere recorded his 50th career playoff goal in the third period. His two points tonight give him 71 playoff points as a Flyer and move him past both Reggie Leach and Tim Kerr into sixth place on the Flyers’ all-time playoff scoring list.
This is the first time this year that the Flyers have been behind in a series.
The Flyers are 13-19 all-time in a best-of-seven series when losing Game 3. They are 7-19 all time when trailing a series 2-1 after three games, and are 13-13 in Game 4 when trailing 2-1.
In the previous four series between the teams since the Devils moved to New Jersey, the team leading 2-1 has won three of them. The only exception was when the Flyers led 2-1 in the 2000 conference finals.
The last time the Flyers trailed a series 2-1 and won was the 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Toronto. They have trailed worse and won since then, doing so in the 2010 comeback against Boston.
The Flyers committed just two giveaways to New Jersey’s 11.
Danny Briere gets tonight's Flyers star of the game for posting a goal and an assist on the night.
Briere's goal tied the game at 3-3 in the third period and gives him sole possession of the postseason lead in goals (8).
Briere also ranks second behind Claude Giroux in points with 12 in the postseason.
"The last two games, the all-around effort on the power play was just not good enough. It seems like we just think that they're going to let us do whatever we want out there. Their penalty-kill unit is out-working us by a mile." - Danny Briere
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy. Like I said the Devils have a really good team. They're very strong, they're very big and we're down [now]. We have a very big game on Sunday and we have to make sure we're ready because its the biggest game of the series." - Jakub Voracek
Tonight's turning point came in the overtime session with the Flyers on the second of their two power plays.
The Flyers managed just one shot on the power play and failed to convert in the full two-minutes.
Less than three minutes later, Alexei Ponikarovsky came down the ice, followed his own rebound and was able to poke it past Bryzgalov to give the Devils their second straight win.
PIC OF THE NIGHT: Net cam view of the Flyers crashing the net on Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.
Devils 4, Flyers 3 in OT Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Alexei Ponikarovsky scored on his own rebound with 2:39 left in overtime and the New Jersey Devils defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in this Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who killed off two penalties in overtime before Ponikarovsky came through with his first goal of the postseason on a backhander that sneaked past Ilya Bryzgalov on his left side.