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Biron, quick burst in third guide Flyers past Devils

Apr 5, 2008 - 7:01 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers apparently wanted a spot in the playoffs.

Scottie Upshall and Joffrey Lupul scored 37 seconds apart midway through the third period and Martin Biron made 22 saves as the Flyers posted a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday, helping them clinch a postseason berth.

R.J. Umberger also scored for Philadelphia (41-29-11), which secured the playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by virtue of its triumph and Carolina's loss to Florida.

"We played close to a perfect game," Flyers All-Star center Mike Richards said. "We didn't give them a lot of opportunities, and to have Florida help us out like that is huge. This is exciting."

"It feels great. It feels unbelievable," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "We left it to the very end, but to see the joy on the faces of these guys is great. We have had some ups and downs, but what a great accomplishment for this group."

Advancing to the postseason is no small accomplishment for the Flyers, who posted a league-low 56 points in 2006-07 after notching 101 the previous campaign.

"We had a big drop-off from season to season. They were saying that it was one of the biggest in history," said Biron, who was acquired from Buffalo at last season's trade deadline. "We knew that to get to the playoffs, we needed to have one of the biggest upgrades in terms of points.

"This is something that we all can be happy about, for everybody in the franchise to know that we've turned it around and we've done what we were supposed to do."

Martin Brodeur stopped 33 shots for the Devils (45-29-7), who had won three in a row overall and six straight meetings with the Flyers.

"The way we played the whole game is not the way the coaches or we want to play," Brodeur said. "(The Flyers) came in as a team that was desperate and they outplayed us. They had a lot of incentive and maybe not as much for us, and it showed big time."

"Outside of our goaltender, we had a lot of bad players tonight," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said. "There was no passion in their performance at all. It was a total lack of commitment tonight - bottom line. It if wasn't for Marty, it might have been 10-0. What more do you have to say beyond that?"

Umberger opened the scoring at 5:44 of the first period with his 13th goal of the season.

After Vaclav Prospal's shot was deflected into the right corner, Umberger chased down the puck and backhanded it to the front of the net. With Scott Hartnell waiting for the pass, New Jersey defenseman Mike Mottau inadvertently put it past Brodeur for a 1-0 lead.

"I had decent position on (Hartnell) and I tried to clear (the puck)," Mottau said. "I just put it right past Marty. I just swiped at the puck and it went right in the net."

"It was one of those plays that happens so quick," Umberger said. "We just wanted to keep the pressure on, and to get that early goal was nice. We came out flying and capitalized on our chances."

The goal held until midway through the third, when Philadelphia took firm control in quick fashion.

Jeff Carter gathered the puck off the right wing boards and skated below the end line before dishing to Upshall, who one-timed it past Brodeur from the slot with 8:44 remaining for a 2-0 advantage.

"I thought to come out of (the first) period 1-0 was big for us, and we were able to carry that," Stevens said. "Sometimes there is a letdown, and I thought the Devils would come a little harder in the second period. Scottie Upshall comes back in the lineup and gets a huge goal for us. He played with all kinds of energy."

Moments later, Richards carried down the left wing before feeding Lupul for an easy tap-in from the doorstep for his 20th goal of the season and a three-goal bulge.

"It was an emotional game with a playoff atmosphere out there," Richards said. "We were in their face and we got everything deep. We got some ugly goals and just kind of played their style of game, and we had some success doing that."

Sutter replaced Brodeur with Kevin Weekes after Lupul's goal, a move that made sense to the three-time Vezina Trophy winner.

"It was common sense for my coach to pull me out of there," Brodeur said. "It happens, and it will happen again. I played as well as I could to keep the team in there. It was just one of those things."

Biron turned aside six shots in each of the first two periods and 10 more in the third en route to his fourth shutout of the season and 22nd career.

Biron elected to credit the play of his teammates for blanking the Devils.

"We played hard in front of the net and we played with a lot of composure," he said. "Instead of getting rid of the puck and not knowing where it was going, we hung on to it and we made the play with confidence. That was the big difference."

With the loss, New Jersey must avoid a regulation loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday in order to clinch fourth place in the East and home-ice advantage in the conference quarterfinals. The Devils could have secured that position with a win over the Flyers.

"We didn't come out like a team that was battling for home ice," New Jersey's Zach Parise said. "We just came out like a team that was content to be in the playoffs. We can't have that at this time of the year. We have to play a lot better on Sunday."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 25 (R.J. UMBERGER, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: PHI - SCOTTIE UPSHALL 13 (JEFF CARTER, RANDY JONES) 11:16
    PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 20 (MIKE RICHARDS) 11:53
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: NJD -

    Apr 4 9:29 PM
  • 5
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Devils 0, Flyers 3  3rd - 1:00Apr 4 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 20 (MIKE RICHARDS) 11:53

    Devils 0, Flyers 3  3rd - 8:07Apr 4 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) SCOTTIE UPSHALL 13 (JEFF CARTER, RANDY JONES)
    11:16

    Devils 0, Flyers 2  3rd - 8:44Apr 4 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 25 (R.J. UMBERGER, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 6 6 12
    PHI 14 17 31
    GOALIES: NJD

    Apr 4 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 25 (R.J. UMBERGER, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 6 6
    PHI 14 14
    GOALIES: NJD - MARTIN BRODE

    Apr 4 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - SCOTT HARTNELL 25 (R.J. UMBERGER, VACLAV PROSPAL) 5:44

    Devils 0, Flyers 1  1st - 14:16Apr 4 7:21 PM