Devils grab 2-1 series lead with OT win

Alexei Ponikarovsky, right, celebrates the game-winner with Bryce Salvador.

The Devils surrendered two leads in Thursday night’s Game 3, but they wouldn’t let the win escape them in the end.

Alexei Ponikarovsky scored his first goal of the postseason 17:21 into overtime to give New Jersey a 4-3 win and a 2-1 edge in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Ponikarovsky played hero, but it was a game that had plenty of familiar faces showing their talent for the Devils. 

The Flyers’ Brayden Schenn opened the scoring on the power play 6:08 into the game. But the Devils answered quickly with a power play goal of their own by Patrick Elias at the 12:33 mark. Ilya Kovalchuk, making his return from one game off due to nagging injuries, assisted on Elias’s goal before breaking through for his own goal just 20 seconds later.

It wasn’t the last time Kovalchuk would be heard from.

Matt Carle evened it up at 2-2 in the second period.

The third period again saw the Devils take a lead, when Zach Parise scored at the 7:29 mark. But the last blown lead of the night came minutes later when Danny Briere scored at 11:04.

It would stay that way until Ponikarovsky put back his own missed shot. Kovalchuk was credited with his second assist of the night.



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