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Flyers 2, Devils 1 @NHL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Patrick Sharp was more impressed with Philadelphia's defense than his own goal.

With the way the Flyers played short-handed, he should have been.

Mike Knuble and Sharp scored in the second period, when the Flyers came up strong two-men down to beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Wednesday night.

The Flyers had lost four consecutive home games after winning nine in a row at the Wachovia Center. They won their second straight overall for the first time since a six-game winning streak ended in early November.

Last in the NHL in penalty killing, the Flyers denied the Devils during a pair of 5-on-3 advantages in the second period. New Jersey went 0-for-4 on power-play chances in the second.

"You never want to go down 5-on-3 back-to-back times, especially against a team like New Jersey," Sharp said. "To watch the penalty kill do a great job gave us a great boost."

And failing to capitalize either time pretty much did in the Devils.

"Any time you kill off a 5-on-3 or kill off back-to-back penalties, that will give your team a big lift," Devils coach Larry Robinson said.

As soon as Philadelphia got back to even strength, it started scoring.

The Flyers snapped a scoreless tie when Knuble knocked the puck past Martin Brodeur for his 12th goal of the year. Nearly 3 1/2 minutes later, Sharp sneaked around the net and flicked the puck past a leaning Brodeur on the right side for his fifth goal and a 2-0 lead.

Sharp scored his second goal in two games and said he was starting to feel more involved in the offense.

"When you have a little bit of success, with that comes a lot of confidence," Sharp said. "To me, the biggest thing is slowing things down in the offensive zone, control the puck and make plays. It's only two games, but I have been feeling better lately and hopefully it will continue."

Brodeur made 31 saves. He was outstanding late in the third, stopping several direct shots when the Flyers skated with a two-man advantage. The Flyers were 0-for-6 on the power play.

"We made it easy on them," Robinson said. "They didn't carry the puck in all night. All they were doing was shooting it around and using their big bodies along the wall like they do, and then crashing the net."

Knuble's 12 goals leave him behind only NHL leader Simon Gagne (23) on the Flyers. Gagne did not have a point.

Tuomas Pihlman pulled the Devils to 2-1 early in the third period when he knocked in his first goal of the year. Sean Brown had the assist.

Robert Esche stopped 30 shots for the Flyers.

"I didn't think it was going to be Jersey's night," Esche said. "I could tell from warmups that we were ready to play."

Both teams were playing their second game in two days. Philadelphia was coming off a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders, while the Devils beat Boston 3-2 Tuesday. The Devils had their season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

Notes: Flyers C Peter Forsberg missed his third straight game with a groin injury. If Forsberg feels better when he skates Thursday, he could practice Friday and play Saturday at Nashville. ... The Flyers recalled LW Ben Eager from their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. Eager got an assist and his first career point on Sharp's goal. ... Ken Hitchcock became the seventh coach in Flyers history to win 100 career games. ... Pro golfer Sean O'Hair was at the game. ... The Flyers had another sellout crowd, giving them 14 in 15 games.

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