Devils even up series with win in Philadelphia

Martin Brodeur, right, was ripped to the ground by Danny Briere in a chippy Game 2.

The Devils were one period away from being halfway home for the summer.

Desperate circumstances demand difference makers and inside the cauldron of noise that was the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday night, it was Adam Larsson, David Clarkson, Travis Zajac and Martin Brodeur who stepped to the forefront. As a result, the Devils return home to the Prudential Center having split the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Flyers.

“We responded well,” Zach Parise said after the Devils evened the series with a 4-1, come-from-behind, win over the Flyers in Game 2. Game 3 is Thursday night at the Rock.

Larsson, Clarkson and Zajac scored back-to-back-to-back goals in a span of 11:07 to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead. Bryce Salvador added an empty net goal with 2:51 remaining. Brodeur turned away 19 shots.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves for Philadelphia. Matt Read scored the Flyers’ lone goal just 2:53 into the match.  

Philadelphia was content to milk the lead and the strategy worked until Larsson tied the game, 1-1, with a bullet over Bryzgalov 3:08 into the third. Larsson was in the lineup for the first time since April 7 due to Ilya Kovalchuk remaining in New Jersey receiving treatment for a lower body injury.

“I was very glad to get back,” Larsson said. “I knew if I wanted to stay in the lineup I had to step it up. It was a great drop pass by [Dainius Zubrus] and it was a great screen by [Adam Henrique]. I just tried to get it high.”

The game was even on the scoreboard. On the ice, it was the Devils who had the advantage.

Clarkson put the Devils ahead for good with a crease-crashing goal at 8:43. Zajac’s wraparound goal three minutes later increased the lead to 3-1.

“Their skating was better than our skating,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “They were quicker; they were more competitive on the puck than we were. In the end, the results are just based on our play.”

The Devils outshot the Flyers 35-20 for the game, but many of their attempts were long shots from the periphery as the Flyers packed the middle of the ice. Philadelphia also blocked 23 shots.

“We were getting chances, it wasn’t going in for us. Finally we kept working,” David Clarkson said. “We didn’t give up. … We kept pushing.”
 
The Devils were shorthanded as Ilya Kovalchuk missed the game with an undisclosed lower-body injury, according to general manager Lou Lamoriello. There has been speculation that Kovalchuk’s back or groin is bothering him, although he would only say he was “fine” when previously asked about his condition.  

“He’s had this since the middle of the first series,” Lamoriello told reporters Tuesday morning. “It’s not positive for the team if he can’t be at 100 percent.”

Coach Peter DeBoer moved defenseman Peter Harrold to a fourth line wing position and inserted Larsson into the lineup. Larsson was plus-one in 13:15 of ice time, while Harrold was credited with an assist and four shots on goal in 6:47.
 
“He’s a huge part of our team,” Parise said of Kovalchuk. “Internally we knew everyone had to be a little better without him in the lineup.
 
“We had contributions from everyone. Our all-around team game was good.”

Follow NHL writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.
 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.