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Carter, Gagne power Flyers past Devils

Sep 22, 2006 - 1:49 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers' power play was in the middle of the pack last season. They obviously are taking steps toward improving in 2006-07.

Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne scored power-play goals and Antero Niittymaki made 20 saves as the Flyers posted a 2-1 preseason victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Ranked 16th in the NHL with an 18 percent success rate with the man advantage last season, the Flyers scored twice on five attempts over the first two periods to grab a 2-0 lead against their Atlantic Division rivals.

Carter, who netted 23 goals as a rookie last campaign, opened the scoring at 4:05 of the first period, beating two-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur off a feed from fellow 2003 first-round pick Mike Richards.

The lead doubled with 3:50 to go in the middle session, when Carter set up Gagne for a power-play tally. Gagne, who scored a career-high 47 goals in 2005-06, signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract earlier this month.

Niittymaki stopped 11 shots in the first period and nine in the second before handing the goaltending duties to Martin Houle, who yielded David Clarkson's goal with 3:01 remaining in the third.

Defensemen Lars Jonsson and Joni Pitkanen each recorded an assist for Philadelphia, which played without new captain Peter Forsberg and netminder Robert Esche.

Brodeur made 15 saves and Frank Doyle stopped 19 shots for the Devils, who rested Patrik Elias and Sergei Brylin.

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