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Brodeur stops 23 as Flyers' lead falls to 2-1

4/13/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- A lot of determination and a little
luck got the defending champion New Jersey Devils back into their
first-round playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers.

After dropping the opening two games in Philadelphia, the Devils
took a game they almost had to win by beating the Flyers 4-2 Monday night behind two goals by Patrik Elias and three assists by
Scott Gomez.

"We're back in it now," goaltender Martin Brodeur said after
making 23 saves. "Those guys were flying high, and hopefully we put
a little doubt in their minds."

Rookie Paul Martin and Brian Gionta also scored as New Jersey
cut the Flyers' lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Game 4 also
will be played at the Continental Airlines Arena, on Wednesday
night.

Jeremy Roenick and Tony Amonte scored for the Flyers, who twice
blew one-goal leads.

The Devils, 0-for-7 on the power play in losing two 3-2
decisions in Philadelphia, scored three times on five extra-man
chances to get back into the series.

"We didn't play anything different in the way we were going to forecheck or what we were going to do," Flyers center Keith Primeau said of his team's failures on the penalty kill. "Maybe they were just more desperate on their special teams than we were."

The Devils also had a little luck.

Elias' second goal went past Robert Esche off the hip of Flyers
defenseman Kim Johnsson with 2:32 left in the second period, giving
New Jersey a 3-2 lead. It marked the first time in the series the
Devils were ahead.

"It hit the pants and deflected in," Johnsson said. "It was
bad luck. We have to bounce back and refocus on the fourth game."

Elias said that Johnsson was not the target of his shot from the top
of the right circle.

"I got lucky with the shot," Elias said. "It just went
through there."

Gionta, who had hit the goalpost with a shot from center ice
minutes earlier, gave the Devils breathing room at the 7:00 mark of
the third period, scoring a power-play goal right in front off a
nice pass by Gomez from behind the net.

"We played hard, and we're going to play hard the whole
series," Roenick said. "We're up against the Stanley Cup
champions. We know they're going to keep coming hard at us."

The Flyers, who converted two of their four power plays in the
first two games, converted on two of their first three in twice
taking the lead in Game 3.

Roenick put Philadelphia ahead 1-0 a little more than a minute
after Martin was penalized for interference. After Brodeur stopped
Johnsson's shot from the right circle, Roenick fluttered the
rebound over the Devils goaltender.

The goal originally was credited to Amonte, who flicked his
stick at the puck simultaneously with Roenick.

Elias tied the score early in the second period, putting a
centering pass from Gomez into a virtually open net.

A giveaway by defenseman Scott Niedermayer behind his own net
set up Amonte in close at 3:13. Martin scored on a scramble in
front at 4:55 with New Jersey on a power play.

Game notes
With the two goals, Elias become the Devils' all-time leading scorer in the playoffs with 28 goals and 49 assists for 77 points. He had shared the lead with Devils assistant coach John MacLean (31-44-75). ...The only lineup change for Game 3 was Devils C Viktor Kozlov replacing Igor Larionov. ... Flyers left wing Simon Gagne took a big hit from Devils D Ray Giroux late in the first period but returned.