Gagne, Monday Power Play Help Philadelphia Flyers Slay New Jersey Devils
If anybody had any doubt that the Flyers were a suspect team treading on waters where only the big dogs play, think again. After taking care of Sidney Crosby and the creeping Penguins yesterday 2-1, the Flyers came back home to knock Martin Brodeur and his Devils off their winning perch, beating them 4-2 at the Wachovia center.
The Flyers were led by another phenomenal performance from goaltender Marty Biron who shut down the Devils high powered offense with 32 saves. Biron is 10-4 in his last 15 appearance. Simon Gagne put together another highly productive game scoring his 30th goal of the season and dishing out two assists also.
Gagne's goal gave him his fourth 30+ goal season of his career. He continues to help himself in the running for the NHL's comeback player of the year award. Gagne has at least one point in 10 of 11 games. Also, it was his 26th career three-point game.
Furthermore, the Flyers woke up their powerplay and went three-for-three tonight which is, yes, 100 percent. The Flyers seemed to have Brodeur's number from the opening face-off constantly attacking the net, throwing shots on goal, and trying to corrupt the goal mount.
Jeff Carter put his 40th goal of the year past Brodeur after deflecting a Kimmo Timonen slapshot less than a minute into the third period on the powerplay. Carter is just the 14th Flyer to score 40-goals.
Rejuvenated, and healthy, Danny Briere scored his third goal in as many games after connecting with a perfect feed from, guess who, Kimmo Timonen on, guess what, the power play.
"A great heads-up play by Kimmo," Briere said about Timonen's pass. "We needed our power play to get going the last couple of games and it gave us a few big goals."
Briere after the game credited the line changes by coach John Stevens as a motivational tool for him.
“Better and better and more and more confidence especially around the net. Instead of going out there and ‘hoping’ that the puck will find me, I am going out there ‘thinking’ the puck will find me. So that is the way I see it now.”
Mike Knuble scored his 26th on the power play early in the second period. The goal was basically an empty net tap-in after a picture perfect set-up from Danny Briere.
“Danny made a great play by passing the puck under his stick and I had a wide open net,” Knuble said after the game.
The Flyers are now 40-22-10 with 90 points and still have 10 games to go. The Flyers will have two days off before heading to Florida to face the playoff seeking Panthers who are just two points out of the eight and final playoff spot.
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