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Jones give Bruins fans another reason to boo

by Brian Compton
Last season, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones was booed by the fans in Boston after a controversial hit that sidelined Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron for the remainder of the season.

On Saturday, Jones gave the crowd at TD Banknorth Garden a different reason to boo.

Jones' shot at exactly 3:00 of overtime caromed into the net off Boston defenseman Andrew Ference to lift the Flyers to a 4-3 win over the Bruins.

Jones was booed practically every time he touched the puck after slamming Bergeron into the boards from behind on Oct. 27, 2007, giving him a concussion and broken nose. Entering the game, Jones knew exactly what type of reaction he'd receive from the crowd.

''It doesn't bother me if they want to boo me or cheer me or say whatever to me, it's another game,'' Jones said. ''It was important game for us. The way we bounced back in the second was a big step for us.''

Things didn't look good early for Philadelphia, which found itself down 3-1 after the first 20 minutes. Marc Savard scored just 3:52 into the game, when he came out from behind the net with the puck and beat Martin Biron for his 21st goal of the season.

Simon Gagne beat Manny Fernandez (26 saves) via the power play with 5:03 left to tie the game, but the Bruins blitzed Biron late in the first with a pair of goals in just eight seconds to give Boston a two-goal lead. Byron Bitz tallied his first NHL goal at 18:59 before Chuck Kobasew made it 3-1 at 19:07 with a wrist shot off the right wing that beat Biron through the pads. It matched the fastest consecutive goals for Boston since Barry Pederson and Norman Leveille did it Dec. 20, 1981.

"I thought our biggest problem in the first period was just our attitude," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "It was almost like we didn't expect to win. We were just going to play and react to them. I thought that was wrong, and our guys really responded."

Indeed they did, as the Flyers shut the Bruins down for the final 43 minutes of the game behind Antero Niittymaki, who replaced Biron at the start of the second period. Glen Metropolit got Philadelphia on the comeback trail at 2:08 of the second, and Scott Hartnell tied it just 4:17 later on a power-play tally. Hartnell beat Fernandez with a backhand shot from the edge of the crease after Kobasew was whistled for interference.

''Nitty came in and made some big stops for us," Hartnell said of Niittymaki, who stopped all 22 shots he faced. "We got two points. We're not looking to catch Boston, we're looking to get in the playoffs.''

Neither team scored in the third period, but Fernandez sent the game to overtime by robbing Jeff Carter in the final seconds of regulation. Carter's shot seemed destined for the right corner, but Fernandez managed to deny the high-scoring forward with a brilliant glove save -- a save that assured the Bruins of a point in the standings.

''We didn't give him much help,'' Boston coach Claude Julien said of his goaltender. ''He hadn't played in over a month so we couldn't necessarily expect him to stand on his head and bail us out.''

But Fernandez's stop only temporarily saved the game for the Bruins. Boston outshot Philadelphia 4-2 in overtime, but it was Jones' shot that gave the Flyers their second win in six games.

"I don't think it's going to happen very often against Boston … they're such a good team," Stevens said of the rally. "I think we know this team can come back. When we get games tied up going into the third period, we're a good team. To battle back on the road was terrific."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

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